Thong Le
Thong Le

Accelerator Corp, the Seattle biotechnology investment fund started in Seattle 11 years ago, has raised $51.1 million in capital as part of a first closing of its fourth fund. Accelerator also announced plans to expand operations in New York City with new offices at the Alexandria Center for Life Science in Manhattan’s East Side Medical Corridor.

“There is a funding gap for innovators looking to build new companies, as more and more venture investors are turning their attention to de-risked, later-stage developmental therapies instead of early research,” said Thong Q. Le, chief executive officer of Accelerator, in a press release. “We have had tremendous success in bridging this gap in Seattle, with more than half of our companies graduating to successful venture rounds and achieving development successes. We recognize a similar gap in New York City where funding is available for developed companies but in short supply for early-stage research, and we look forward to this strategic expansion with our new round of committed capital.”

Le was named CEO of Accelerator Corp. earlier this year, taking over from Carl Weissman who stepped down due to health reasons. Le previously served as a partner at WRF Capital in Seattle, one of the investors in Accelerator Corp.

Other backers of the fourth fund include existing investors Alexandria Venture Investments, ARCH Venture Partners, as well as new strategic investors such as Eli Lilly and Company, Harris & Harris Group, Inc., Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation, The Partnership Fund for New York City, and Pfizer Venture Investments.

Accelerator will continue to invest in early-stage biotechnology startups, with commitments for both Seattle and New York City. The organization had not made a new investment in three years, so fresh capital was a necessity.

Accelerator has bankrolled a dozen companies in the past 11 years, with five of those going on to raise additional follow-on rounds of financing. Some of those companies include Acylin Therapeutics, Oncofactor and Integrated Diagnostics.

Just one portfolio company has been sold: XORI.

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