Belfast, UK | February, 2020, Artificial Intelligence specialist Sonrai Analytics has closed a £700,000 funding round that signals a significant step in the company’s path towards delivering next–generation healthcare through big–data analysis.
Sonrai Analytics applies A.I and deep learning to develop bespoke applications and interfaces that enable healthcare organisations, biotech and pharma to filter and transform data sets in real time. The platform delivers next generation data visualisation and predictive analytics to workflows that accelerate organisational processes and improves performance.
Sonrai, which was established in 2018 by co–founders Dr. Darragh McArt and Deva Senevirathne, is a spinout from QUBIS, the commercialisation arm of Queen’s University, Belfast.
The investment round has come from a range of significant private Northern Irish and Irish entrepreneurs and local seed funders, led by Techstart Ventures, alongside QUBIS and Co–Fund NI. TechstartNI and Co–Fund II are part of Invest Northern Ireland’s Access to Finance portfolio.
Dr. McArt commented: “Having emerged from the thriving research environment and state–of–the–art bioinformatics facilities at Queen’s Precision Medicine Centre, Sonrai is uniquely positioned to gain insights into modern day healthcare needs and couple this with the application of machine learning and A.I to create digital information that helps improve patient treatment.”
“Sonrai’s technology is already helping healthcare organisations to advance bioscience analytics in the U.S and Europe. This funding is an encouraging milestone that will further boost the development and commercialisation of our company.”
Brian McCaul, CEO, QUBIS said: “We are delighted to see another commercial opportunity in digital healthcare arising from the Queen’s research base. This funding will secure growth and sustained business for Sonrai in delivering exciting analytical solutions, ensuring traction and employment in key skills for the benefit of NI economy. These are exactly the type of knowledge intensive jobs we need. That the company is gaining international customers even prior to this seed round demonstrates the potential that Sonrai has.”
Techstart Ventures provide support for early stage technology businesses through its £30m equity fund.
Techstart Ventures’ Investment Director, John Murray added: “The Sonrai solution unlocks critical information contained in the big data now being generated by researchers in drug trials and other studies and can lead to faster and more effective treatments and cures for cancer and other diseases. It was borne out of many years of academic research by Darragh and his team. Techstart is excited to support Sonrai as they now bring this solution to market.”
Co–Fund II, managed by Clarendon Fund Managers, invests with private investors such as business angels or their syndicates into eligible SMEs based in NI, and provides up to 50 per cent of equity investment alongside 50 per cent from private investors on a deal–by–deal basis.
Stuart Gaffikin, Investment Manager at Clarendon Fund Managers, commented: “Sonrai Analytics is an impressive spin–out company from Queen’s University Belfast with a talented founding team that has developed a leading bioinformatics platform. We are excited to play a part in Sonrai Analytics’ funding and look forward to journeying with the team as it grows and develops over the coming years.”
Invest NI has also offered the company £48,000 of support towards the creation of 8 highly skilled jobs in the areas of software engineering and data science.
Techstart Ventures and Co–Fund II are part financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the EU investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014–2020.