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Bill Gates, VC Finance Science Collaboration Network

Currency dice (MD4 Group/Flickr)ResearchGate, an online network to encourage collaboration among scientists and sharing of research data, based in Berlin, closed a $35 million series C  financing round, the third cycle of venture funding after start-up. The round was led by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and later-stage venture capital (VC) company Tenaya Capital.

ResearchGate is a five-year old company founded by two physicians and a computer scientist that aims to make science and scientists more accessible to encourage greater collaboration and sharing of research findings. The company’s services include a profile where scientists can upload their research to make it available to their scientific colleagues, as well as joint projects where ResearchGate members collaborate directly or provide professional feedback. ResearchGate’s 2.9 million members are ranked according to an RG Score, an index of participation and interaction on the network.

The new financing round is expected to help ResearchGate expand its services to include capture of raw research data, as well as results of failed experiments. The company says it also plans to improve its ratings of scientific reputation. In addition to Gates and Tenaya Capital, other participants in the round are existing investors Benchmark and Founders Fund, as well as new investors Dragoneer Investment Group and Thrive Capital.

Tenaya Capital is a VC company investing largely in information technology enterprises, from those early in revenue generation to pre-IPO stage. Its portfolio includes Internet, software, communications, and semiconductor companies. The company says it typically leads investment rounds and contributes $5 to $10 million per round.

In November 2012, ResearchGate acquired, a spin-off company from University of Wurzburg in Germany that provided reference and knowledge management services, as well as an academic network of two million members. discontinued its services and network in January 2013, which were absorbed into ResearchGate.

The online newsletter MedCity News says Gates participated in the financing as an individual, not through his charitable foundation.

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Image: MD4 Group/Flickr

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