New Zealand-based software tech startup Litmaps secured a $1M funding to help scientists and engineers accelerate research breakthroughs
In just a century, technology and scientific discoveries have forever changed our ways of life. From penicillin to genome editing to CRISPR, billions of people around the world now have access to life-prolonging drugs and vaccines. However, these breakthroughs did not come so easy. Even with the plethora of information now available on the Internet, it is becoming increasingly difficult for engineers and scientists to get access to literature and other bodies of works from reputable universities around the world.
Enter Litmaps, a Wellington-based science-software startup that provides an innovative research discovery tool for people not satisfied with the status quo. Litmaps saves engineers and scientists time by combining interactive citation maps, modern search tools, and regular targeted updates, to create the best research discovery experience ever. It can visualize your research topic with everything from academic papers, patents, pre-prints, and e-prints. Litmaps does the heavy lifting so researchers can focus on what they do best, while Litmaps keeps them up to date with the latest scientific literature.
Today, Litmaps has secured $1M in seed funding to help accelerate research breakthroughs – from medicine to policymaking to space travel – with more efficient discovery of 200+ million published and peer-reviewed studies. The round was led by Icehouse Ventures, with participation from Quidnet Ventures and other investors, including Angel HQ, K1W1, Exponential Founders Fund, and several strategic independent angel investors.
Litmaps will use the fresh capital infusion to accelerate international adoption of its research platform, which allows subject matter experts such as scientists and engineers to discover science faster. Litmaps’ research platform combines interactive citation maps, modern search tools, and models of a researchers’ existing knowledge to create a more efficient research discovery experience to help accelerate scientific breakthroughs.
Founded in 2020 by Kyle Webster Ph.D. (CEO), Axton Pitt (CTO), and Digl Dixon, Litmaps combines citation maps, search tools, and focused updates to create the best research discovery experience ever. Over 30,000 researchers worldwide, from public research organizations to development teams in science-heavy companies, have already used Litmaps since its launch in November 2020. CEO and co-founder Dr. Kyle Webster says feedback from early users of the platform shows it’s already providing significant value as a tool to accelerate and inform research.
“We’ve just scratched the surface,” says Dr Webster, “The opportunity for Litmaps is significant, and we’re excited to enter the next phase of growth. Litmaps changes how experts can understand and navigate our collective knowledge – which previously has remained trapped in systems developed decades or even centuries ago. As a result, we’re improving the usefulness of the 200 million published and peer-reviewed studies to help accelerate all sorts of existing research: from medicine to policymaking to space travel.
“The investment will also help us develop a version for R&D companies that will zero in on verticals such as artificial intelligence and biotechnology to help enterprise-level R&D teams bring superior products to market more quickly. The capabilities of our technology could create a decisive advantage for companies, particularly over the long term.”
Lead investor Icehouse Ventures says, “We are excited about the potential for Litmaps to change the way research is done in academic and commercial applications. Kyle and his team have a deep understanding of the research landscape and unique perspectives on how to create value.”
Mark Bregman, Founder and General Partner of Quidnet Ventures, says, “With my original training in physics, I can really appreciate the problem that Litmaps is solving. Both the world of academic research and that of industrial R&D will benefit from the companies solution.”
Axton Pitt, co-founder and CTO of Litmaps, adds, “We’re driven to improve the experience of discovering scientific literature. It’s a very exciting time to be building new products in this space. There are new possibilities due to disruptive trends like the dissolution of paywalls on public research and the rapid pace of research publications responding to COVID-19. This crucial industry has been stuck in entrenched systems for a long time, and we’re thrilled to be positioned to provide a breakthrough.”