Pendulum Therapeutics Raises $54 Million for Diabetes Products

By Bruce Harpham Saturday, April 17, 2021

Pendulum Therapeutics, a biotechnology startup based in San Francisco, has raised $54 million. The biotechnology company offers a glucose control product directly to consumers.

Doctors studying DNA models in a lab.

About Pendulum Therapeutics

Founded in 2013, Pendulum Therapeutics launched its first product in January 2020 to people with type 2 diabetes. The biotechnology company is planning to create additional products to address chronic diseases. Furthermore, Pendulum Therapeutics reports that 74% of consumers continue to use the product after five months.

Meritech Capital Led the Series C Round

The biotechnology business has raised a total of $111 million from investors. In April, Meritech Capital led the Series C round for the company. "Pendulum could be another 10x Genomics, Datadog, Snowflake, or Roblox, which are Meritech investments that went public in the last two years. Pendulum feels like it could be that because they are creating something that's truly differentiated and could truly change a person's life," said Craig Sherman, general partner at Meritech General.

Other investors in Pendulum Therapeutics include Sequoia Capital, True Ventures, and Khosla Ventures. The investment from Sequoia Capital is significant because Sequoia has a long history of successful investments such as companies like Dropbox, Electronic Arts, Instagram, Okta, and Oracle. Khosla Ventures is a venture capital firm founded in 2004 by Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems. True Ventures is a Silicon Valley venture capital investor with $2 billion in investments.

Three investors have joined the company board of directors. Craig Sherman (a general partner in Meritech General), Roelof Botha (a partner at Sequoia), and Adam D'Augelli (a partner at True Ventures) have joined the board. The startup company also has a medical advisory board and a scientific advisory board to provide advice.

The Startup Publishes Research in a Scientific Publication

To set itself apart, the biotechnology company has conducted formal research on its products. BMJ Open Diabetes, a scientific journal, published an article examining “postprandial glucose control in subjects with type 2 diabetes.” The research did not identify significant side effects associated with using the product.

The randomized controlled trial found that the intervention was "safe and well-tolerated." It is important to note that it studied less than one hundred people.

The Diabetes Market Draws Startup Interest

With an estimated thirty million Americans suffering from diabetes, several companies are working on serving this market. According to MedicalStartups.org, there are more than fifty companies in the diabetes business. Verily, a San Francisco company with more than $1 billion in funding, offers diabetes and sleep apnea products. Livongo, a startup company acquired by Teladoc, is working on diabetes and other chronic conditions.

In 2019, Grand View Research estimated that the global diabetes devices business was valued at $23 billion. As a result, there is a significant business opportunity for startups in the market.

Pendulum Therapeutics and Its Business Model

Pendulum Therapeutics sells its product on a recurring subscription for $165 per month or a single bottle for $195. While the biotechnology startup describes itself as filling a gap between supplements and prescription drugs, the business model is comparable to a supplement company. For example, Ritual offers supplements on a subscription basis to customers. According to a New York Times estimate, the dietary supplements market is worth more than $30 billion.

About the Author


Headshot of Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is an author and marketing consultant based in Canada. His first book, "Project Managers At Work," shared real-world success lessons from NASA, Google, and other organizations. His articles have been published in CIO.com, InfoWorld, Canadian Business, and other organizations. Visit BruceHarpham.com for articles, interviews with tech leaders, and updates on future books.

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