Eric Lefkofsky gets $80M in new funding for Tempus, fights cancer with technology

Tempus, the cancer-fighting tech firm led by Groupon co-founder Eric Lefkofsky, recently announced that it has received $80 million in new investments to continue its mission to revolutionize cancer treatment by using technology to collect and utilize genomic data from patients and make it accessible to doctors. This latest deal tops Tempus’ overall valuation at around 1.1 billion dollars, giving the company “Unicorn” status, a term coined to describe startup companies valued over $1 billion.

Lefkofsky’s Chicago-based company has built “an operating system to battle cancer.” Tempus works with doctors and hospitals to conduct molecular sequencing and analysis, and it combines that information with clinical data from cancer patients. Even doctor’s handwritten notes can be converted to searchable digital files to optimize treatment for patients. The goal is to create a library of data about the patient as outcomes of previously treated patients to help guide future treatment options. It may help predict outcomes of certain treatments, to ultimately improve patient’s survival rates and quality of life.

Tempus has announced a number of partnerships with renowned cancer research and treament centers such as Mayo Clinic, Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, NYU School of Medicine, and Cleveland Clinic, to name a few. Lefkofsky says the concept of using big data to help patients has been well received and is quickly gaining traction.

Lefofksy, whose life has been personally touched by cancer, plans to use the new funds to expand the fast-growing company. At this time, Tempus has around 400 employees, and that number is increasing rapidly. The company expects to continue adding about 30 employees a month to meet growing demand.

Tempus represents Eric Lefkofsky’s latest achievement. In addition to co-founding Groupon (NASDAQ: GRPN), he is co-founder and CEO of several tech-based companies: Uptake Technologies, Echo Global Logistics (NASDAQ: ECHO), InnerWorkings (NASDAQ: INWK), Mediaocean, and venture capital firm, Light-bank, of Chicago. Eric Lefkofsky and his wife Liz have established the Lefkofsky Family Foundation, a private, charitable trust which seeks to not only eradicate cancer, but also to enhance the quality of human life by supporting high-impact initiatives in communites they serve around the world.

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