SoftBank-backed genome medical research tech provider 10x Genomics, previously backed by SoftBank, filed to go public. This may be a notable exit in burgeoning genomics and gene technology space, which has seen much corporate backing in recent years.

US-based medical tool developer 10x Genomics filed for an initial public offering, aiming to raise up to $100m. The IPO would give an exit to its backer telecoms and internet group SoftBank. The latter had invested in the company’s $85m series D round along with banking firm Wells Fargo’s Strategic Capital vehicle and financial services group Fidelity Management and Research (FMR), among other investors. That latest round reportedly valued the enterprise at $1.28bn.

Founded in 2012, 10x develops and produces instruments and software for use in biomedical research. It has created a DNA sequencing technology to help researchers better identify subtle variations that are overlooked by technologies, which shred biological samples into tiny fragments before sequencing short stretches and using computers to assemble them into a genome. The company more than doubled its annual revenue to over $109m for the first six months of 2019 while cutting its net loss from $21.6m to $14.5m during the same period.

The genetics tech space has not remained outside the radar of corporate venturing investors, as the GCV Analytics chart here suggests. Indeed, businesses from this realm have seen more corporate-backed rounds from 2015 onward. In 2018, the number of such rounds reached 55. They were estimated to be worth a total of $3.92bn, up from $628m in 2014. Through this year we have registered 32 corporate-backed rounds, worth $1.96bn. The growth dollar figures clearly point to rising valuations, which are understandable in light of the potential such technologies could unlock for humanity.