Inato Raises $14 Million in Series A Funding from Obvious Ventures, Cathay Innovation, Serena and Fly Ventures

May 4, 2020

Inato Raises $14 Million in Series A Funding from Obvious Ventures, Cathay Innovation, Serena and Fly Ventures

 Financing will expand the company’s platform for modern, inclusive clinical trials

Paris, France (February 4, 2020) Inato, a platform that helps biopharmaceutical companies increase the pool of available patients engaged in clinical trials, announced it has raised a $14 million Series A round of venture capital financing. The financing was led by Obvious Ventures and Cathay Innovation, with participation from previous investors Serena and Fly Ventures.

The Inato platform increases the pool of available patients engaged in clinical trials by unlocking research site potential. The platform matches the best sites for any given study and ensures that site partners in the Inato network are successfully delivering trials. To date, Inato’s platform has helped biopharmaceutical companies and clinicians across more than 2,000 research sites and over 50 global trials. In addition, more than 3,500 doctors across 75 countries have used it to offer promising treatments to their patients.

“Five percent of the world’s research sites are conducting the vast majority of today’s clinical trials. When you consider that the average cost of bringing a drug to market is around $2 billion, with about two-thirds of those costs tied to clinical trials, it’s clear there’s an urgent need for greater efficiency,” said Inato Co-Founder and CEO Kourosh Davarpanah. “Our mission is to bring new doctors and their patients into the clinical research ecosystem to unlock the potential of the many unengaged research sites—so biopharma can bring innovative therapies to market faster.”

Inato will use the funding to expand its predictive capabilities to match the right sites with the right studies and develop a comprehensive network of clinicians worldwide. “There are thousands of sites around the world that are fully capable of recruiting patients but are currently not taking part in the research process,” said Davarpanah.

As a part of the financing, Nan Li, managing director at Obvious Ventures, has joined Inato’s board of directors.

“Inato recognizes that the future of clinical trials is sitting right in front of us. Their managed marketplace approach ensures that sites are selected based on merit and their ability to contribute towards the only outcome that matters: enrolling patients and helping to get treatments to market,” said Nan Li, Managing Director with Obvious Ventures. “There is a long history of manual, inefficient marketplaces being streamlined by technology – clinical trials is next, and may be the most important category of them all.”

Denis Barrier, Co-founder and CEO of Cathay Innovation added, “We are proud to participate in this major step in Inato’s development. Our team was deeply impressed by Inato’s growing platform and capabilities. We believe that Inato’s approach is likely to revolutionize medical trials and drug discovery and we will make sure to support the management’s vision and plan through our global network. The massive changes happening in healthcare have triggered both an important investment focus for our funds and a deep involvement between our platform and our ecosystem partners.”

Davarpanah and William Pambrun founded Inato in 2016, along with Pr. Philippe Ravaud and Dr. Jean-David Zeitoun—two physicians who had a shared concern for the historically low engagement of doctors in clinical research and, as a result, the scarcity of available patients for clinical testing.

“Our platform is explicitly designed to increase doctor engagement in clinical trials by reducing the burden of participation and allowing them to focus on what they do best—care for patients,” said Dr. Jean-David Zeitoun, Inato co-founder and Chief Medical Officer.

Inato’s financing comes on the heels of a series of notable company milestones in 2019:

  • Inato has partnered with biopharma companies to create an extensive dataset of historical site performance covering 1,500 studies, 17,000 sites and 700,000 patients across 80+ countries.
  • It has significantly improved the platform’s predictive capabilities: the algorithm can help reduce the number of sites needed in a study by 29%.
  • Inato has scaled its partnership with key clients to cover study planning at the global level for major Phase II-IV trials.
  • Inato has continued to build a world class team across product, data science and clinical operations with presence in France, the US and the UK.
  • Inato has started growing its network of high-potential but often overlooked sites, initially focusing on oncology, by partnering with leading investigators such as Pr. Christophe Massard, head of the early phase trials center at the Institut Gustave Roussy
  • In April, Inato appointed pharmaceutical industry veteran Liz Beatty as its CSO

About Inato

Inato helps biopharmaceutical companies increase the pool of available patients engaged in clinical trials by discovering untapped research site potential. Inato’s platform matches the best sites for any given study and ensures that sites are successfully delivering trials. The platform is built with doctors and for doctors—to navigate the hurdles of today’s increasingly complex research environment. Headquartered in Paris with offices in New York and London, Inato has raised $17 million in financing from Obvious Ventures, Cathay Innovation, Serena and Fly Ventures.

About Obvious Ventures

Obvious Ventures is a venture capital firm investing in entrepreneurs reimagining every sector of the global economy. Since launching in 2014, Obvious has backed over 50 companies using technology to create a smarter, healthier, more sustainable world. Obvious was co-founded by Ev Williams, James Joaquin, and Vishal Vasishth, with Andrew Beebe and Nan Li now also serving as Managing Directors. More information is available at

About Cathay Innovation

Cathay Innovation is a global venture capital partnership, created in affiliation with Cathay Capital. It was founded around the shared conviction that supporting innovation entrepreneurs by providing them with a platform bridging 3 continents – North America, Europe and China – constitutes a particularly powerful value-creation strategy. As a multi-stage fund, Cathay Innovation partners with visionary entrepreneurs, committed to the sustainable transformation of the world through innovation and technology. Such transformation is accelerated by leveraging Cathay Capital extensive network with corporates and solid experience in operational excellence. Cathay Innovation has offices in San Francisco, Paris, Beijing, Shanghai and Singapore. To learn more, please visit or follow us on Twitter @Cathayinnov.