Sajith Wickramasekara founded Benchling in 2012 as a digital version of a scientist’s lab notebook. A year later, when Wickramasekara appeared on the Forbes Under 30 list, the biotech R&D software startup had raised $6 million at a valuation of $17.5 million. Today Benchling has more than 600 customers, including Regeneron, Sanofi, and Syngenta. It is worth $6.1 billion following a recent financing round led by Franklin Templeton and Altimeter.
Wickramasekara was born in Raleigh, North Carolina. He attended the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics and later entered college at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). At MIT, he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
He worked as a research assistant during high school and realized R&D relied too heavily on pens and paper. So he built Benchling, now worth $6 billion and backed by over $400 million in VC funding.
Benchling is a software platform for scientists doing breakthrough research on biotherapeutics, biofuels, and biomaterials with techniques such as Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) are the hallmark of a bacterial defense system that forms the basis for CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology, and Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is a type of immunotherapy that uses a patient’s own genetically modified T cells to find and kill cancer. Over 140,000 across leading academic institutions and life science companies depend on the Benchling Life Sciences R&D Cloud to design DNA, collaborate on experiments, and make critical R&D decisions.
Since co-founding the company in 2012, Sajith has guided Benchling through remarkable growth. Today, more than 200,000 scientists at over 600 companies and 7,000 research institutions globally have adopted Benching’s R&D Cloud to make breakthrough discoveries and bring the next generation of medicines, food, and materials to market faster than ever.