Pendulum Therapeutics Raises $54 million

By Danielle Masterson

- Last updated on GMT

Getty Images / Andrii Zastrozhnov
Getty Images / Andrii Zastrozhnov

Related tags Gut health Pendulum Therapeutics

Gut health biotech company Pendulum Therapeutics recently announced a $54 million investment led by Meritech Capital with participation from existing investors including Sequoia Capital, True Ventures and Khosla Ventures.

The Series C round nearly doubled the entirety of Pendulum’s previous raises, bringing the total venture capital raised to $111 million.

As lead investor, Meritech General Partner Craig Sherman will take a seat on the Pendulum Board of Directors alongside Roelof Botha, a partner at Sequoia, and Adam D’Augelli, a partner at True Ventures.

“We think Pendulum is a next generation pharma company doing next generation gene sequencing,” ​said Sherman. “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.”

“Craig, Roelof and I are excited about Pendulum because they are using the microbiome in an entirely new way, to create a never-before-seen product,” ​said D’Augelli. “There’s a huge white space here. With many supplements, there’s no way to tell if they’re even working, while medicines are synthetic and can have side effects. At Pendulum, ingredients are sourced from the microbiome that naturally lives within our bodies, and their formulas are rigorously tested for safety and effectiveness. This new hybrid product Pendulum has created is safe, requires less capital than a drug to bring to market, and could be incredibly beneficial for millions of people.”

D’Augell is referring to its first product, a medical probiotic​ called Pendulum Glucose Control. According to the company, it is the only probiotic clinically shown​ to lower blood sugar spikes and A1C levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

Pendulum employed DNA sequencing to identify novel strains to help metabolize fiber and produce butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid which plays a big role in the body's natural ability to signal insulin production and stabilize blood glucose. Pendulum Glucose Control debuted in January 2020.

Money moves

Colleen Cutcliffe, PhD, co-founder and CEO of Pendulum Therapeutics, said the new venture capital funding will be used to increase the manufacturing and sales of Pendulum Glucose Control; ramp-up manufacturing of pipeline products to address the management of other chronic diseases; and conduct additional research – including clinical trials.

According to the Cutliffe, the microbiome is the most exciting and promising frontier in health and nutrition science. 

Prior to founding Pendulum, she and her two co-founders were top scientists at Pacific Biosciences, a company known for its DNA sequencing machines. 

The trio knew that DNA technology would allow them to do groundbreaking research such as extracting new bacterial strains from the microbiome, studying their impact on chronic conditions and combining them in innovative ways.

So the DNA scientists left Pacific Biosciences and started Pendulum in 2013 to mine the bacteria in the microbiome to create products for gut health. 

“While our direct-to-consumer path is more nimble than our pharma peers, we will never cut corners. Pendulum is a team of accomplished scientists, and our products will always go through rigorous testing to establish efficacy. We believe consumers can – and should – demand hard-core scientific results from any company that is making claims about health benefits,”​ said Cutliffe. 


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