Flywheel Lands $15M in Series B Financing
Jim Olson, CEO of Flywheel

Flywheel Lands $15M in Series B Financing

Minneapolis startup secures backing from large institutional investors.
Jim Olson, CEO of Flywheel

Minneapolis-based Flywheel Exchange Inc. has raised approximately $15 million in its Series B financing round. The money is targeted at helping the company ramp up its sales and marketing efforts, said Jim Olson, Flywheel’s CEO. The company has not previously invested heavily in that area.

Flywheel has built a cloud-based research platform for life sciences and clinical and academic research. The company’s technology is aimed at improving productivity and collaboration among medical researchers.

Olson noted that its clients include a “large pharma company.” Flywheel’s technology can help speed up clinical trials for new medications and treatments.

In the age of the pandemic, that’s more important than ever.

“Covid has accelerated that,” said Olson.

Flywheel previously raised $8.5 million in its million Series A financing round in 2019. Olson said that between the Series A and Series B financing rounds, Flywheel raised additional capital through a “convertible note bridge round.”

A recent financial filing from Flywheel indicates that it has actually raised $21.1 million. Olson said that number combines the Series B round and what it raised through convertible notes.

Previous financing was largely from angel investors and family offices. The Series B round finds the company landing some big backers.

“The majority of the dollars is institutional money,” said Olson of the Series B round.

The latest round is co-led by Beringea, which has offices in the U.K. and the U.S., and San Francisco-based 8VC. Other investors include Novartis dRx Capital, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Great North Labs, iSelect, and Argonautic Ventures

Flywheel was launched in a joint effort through Stanford University and Minneapolis-based Invensure, an accelerator focused on medical tech companies.

Flywheel now has 70 employees including its offices in the San Francisco Bay Area, Washington D.C., and Budapest.

“About a third of the team is here in the Twin Cities area,” said Olson.

Before joining Flywheel, Olson was previously co-founder and president of the local Livio Health Group, which started in 2015 as a mobile urgent care service. Livio’s main backer is Eagan-based Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.

Olson said that Flywheel’s team is grateful for the latest round of financing and feeling upbeat about the year ahead.

“Especially with Covid and the challenges of 2020…we’re just thankful and excited for the year ahead,” said Olson.