Eric Lefkofsky’s startup, Tempus: A “unicorn” enters the race to cure cancer

Groupon Chairman Eric Lefkofsky, announced last month that he has received $80 million in new investments for Tempus, his rapidly growing tech startup firm based in Chicago. Lefkofsky has raised $210 million since Tempus was founded in 2015, bringing Tempus’ overall value to over $1 billion dollars. This gives the company what is considered “Unicorn” status among startups, a title few Chicago companies can claim.

Tempus is the latest tech venture of American billionaire and philanthropist Eric Lefkofsky. According to their website, Tempus is ushering in an era of precision medicine. The heath-tech company is collecting and sequencing clinical and molecular-level data from cancer patients to create a library of information that can be accessed to improve the treatment of cancer patients. Doctors will be able to search and use this data to make more informed decisions in real time.

“I think the traction we have had with everybody in the industry has been kind of amazing,” Lefkofsky recently said in a March 20th Chicago Tribune article announcing the new funding. “We are in the midst of one of the most significant paradigm shifts of our time,” he said.

Lefkofsky certainly understands the tech business. Aside co-founding the money-saving website Groupon, he is a founding parther of Lightbank, a Chicago-based venture fund investing in disruptive technologies. He is also co-founder of Uptake Technologies, Echo Global Logistics (ECHO,) InnerWorkings (INWK), and Mediaocean, to name a few.

Eradicating cancer has been a personal goal for Eric Lefkofsky and his wife, Liz, who has had cancer herself, along with her mother, and her sister who died of a brain tumor at the age of seven. The Lefkofskys have donated millions to fund cancer research over the years. They have also seen first hand the impact that big data could have in cancer treatment.

Apparently, Lefkofsky isn’t the only one who sees the potential of Tempus in applying technology to the field of healthcare. Contributors to this latest $80 million in funding include New Enterprise Associates and Revolution Growth, as well as new investors Kinship Trust Co. and funds advised by T. Rowe Price Associates.

Eric Lefkofsky’s Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/eplefkofsky/

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