May 18, 2021

Welcoming Artificial to the M12 portfolio



We’re thrilled to welcome Artificial—a software company building a first-of-its-kind lab automation platform—to the M12 portfolio as lead of their Series A round.  

Biology research labs have yet to have their Industrial and Digital Revolutions. When I started my academic research career at the National Institutes of Health 21 years ago and my biopharmaceutical career at Novartis 15 years ago, biology labs were light- to semi-automated. Unfortunately, this is still very much true today for most labs, which operate more like test kitchens rather than factories.  

A lack of automation in labs has in part led to the Reproducibility Crisis over the last decade—Biopharma preclinical teams waste tens of billions of R&D dollars each year in failed attempts to reproduce and translate major academic research into breakthrough therapies. The rise of Synthetic Biology (synbio) proved that fully-automated workflows can help solve the reproducibility issue and accelerate the pace of scientific discoveries, but exclusively at a high cost. Only a small number of synbio companies have raised enough capital to build expensive, customized, industrialized automation systems. Advancing lab automation at scale is critical to decrease the time and cost to achieving breakthrough scientific discoveries. Artificial’s aLab suite is the operating system that will advance automation in labs across the Life Sciences industry.  

Biologist holds a tablet computer with the Artificial user interface on the screen.

Artificial’s aLab Suite is a first-of-its-kind, human-in-the-loop lab automation platform that orchestrates everything in a lab including other software, instruments, robots, and people. With the help of aLab Suite, scientists can build a digital twin of the lab, schedule manual and automated tasks, and design automated workflows based on their manual experiments. While some incumbent solutions are code-intensive and accessible only to interdisciplinary bioengineers, Artificial has committed to human-centered design with a low/no code and intuitive user experience.

Artificial CEO David Fuller
David Fuller | CEO | Artificial
Artificial COO Dr. Yvonne Linney
Dr. Yvonne Linney | COO | Artificial
Artificial CPO Nikhita Singh
Nikhita Singh | CPO | Artificial

Artificial has an all-star interdisciplinary team with incredible domain expertise. CEO David Fuller has over 25 years of global experience in industrial automation and software—previously at KUKA and National Instruments. COO Dr. Yvonne Linney brings a wealth of expertise as the former CEO and COO of Transcriptic (now Strateos), VP and GM for the Life Sciences Solutions Division at Agilent, and an executive at Amersham International (now GE Healthcare). 

Finally, Chief Product Officer Nikhita Singh brings her background in AI, data, and human-centered design from MIT Media Lab; she drove BD and Product at Palantir prior. Singh has committed fully to customer-centricity in product design, prioritizing an approachable and intuitive interface that has full integration and compatibility with widely-adopted lab operations solutions. As a result, Artificial’s customers have become evangelists, endorsing Artificial’s ease-of-use for teams without software or automation backgrounds, and its remote accessibility to support teams working from home.

The Artificial team plans to use this latest round of funding to accelerate product development, grow its world-class team, and establish life science partnerships. I’m excited to join the Artificial board, joined by M12 Managing Director Samir Kumar, who will be taking an observer role. Congratulations to the entire Artificial team on your successful Series A round. We look forward to your continued growth and are humbled to support your work to make scientific breakthroughs happen faster and more efficiently.