Copado, a company offering a dev-ops platform designed to power digital transformations in life-sciences firms, has closed $96m in Series B funding, bringing its total investment pool to $117m.
According to Copado leaders, the firm’s growth during 2020 underscores the importance of increased adoption of digital technologies. In the past 12 months, the company reportedly has grown from nearly 200 to more than 1000 customers, with 120% growth in annual recurring revenue (ARR), a figure expected to double again in 2021. Copado also more than doubled its workforce, with over 220 employees worldwide.
Zachary Bayer, regional vice president of healthcare and life sciences for Copado, spoke with Outsourcing-Pharma about the infusion of funds, its growth, and why digital transformation is vital for life-sciences firms around the world.
OSP: Could you please share the ‘elevator presentation’ of Copado—who you are, what you do, key capabilities and accomplishments, and what sets you apart?
ZB: Copado enables digital transformation across the global life sciences industry. Pharmaceutical, medical device, and healthcare organizations are accelerating their move to digital now more than ever with Copado providing the modern tools to increase developer productivity, accelerate system deployments, and maximize return on cloud technology investments.
In life sciences, Copado builds innovative applications that optimize clinical trials across every phase of development, enhance patient programs while reducing operational costs, and enable faster innovation by connecting trial teams, patients, and data on a single digital platform.
OSP: As you point out, the past year was disruptive for all life sciences firms, thanks to the pandemic. Can you talk a bit about how that moved companies in drug development and clinical research to take a solid look at their digital strategy and infrastructure?
ZB: Certainly, 2020 was a milestone year for the life sciences industry especially, as the world looked to pharma companies to fight the global pandemic. COVID-19 not only shifted priorities in drug production, but it also accelerated the need to digitize clinical trials, supply chain and distribution, and commercialization strategies.
Continued advancements in cell and gene therapy also added to the complexity and further accelerated the need for companies to make a digital transformation enterprise-wide. According to a 2021 Gartner report, life science CIOs need to accelerate digital business initiatives and refine digital capabilities.
Today’s pharmaceutical IT teams are expected to deliver innovative solutions to growing operational demands during a pandemic while improving their own processes. According to Copado’s 2021 State of Salesforce DevOps Report, more than 90% of healthcare and life sciences industry respondents say they increased their digital transformation budgets.
Further, companies that invested in DevOps solutions such as Copado saw hypergrowth, deploying innovative software solutions 520% faster than their counterparts using manual processes. These results, coupled with the tremendous ‘new-normal’ demands for efficiency, compliance, and quality, have made a digital-first strategy imperative for success.
OSP: You report Copado grew its customer roster significantly—could you please talk about the reasons behind the increased interest, the problems these new folks came to you looking to solve, and how you’ve helped them?
ZB: Nine of 10 Salesforce.com customers in the life sciences and healthcare markets say they are increasing their investments in digital transformation projects in 2021. Unlike other industries, life sciences and healthcare are under immense pressure to expand and accelerate digital transformation, too, as companies expect shortened timelines from 12 months to six weeks.
Humana, for example, recently announced a new partnership with Salesforce to help them go digital across the organization. In the life sciences industry, leading platforms like Veeva CRM saw dramatic growth in 2020 with 28% year-over-year revenue increases.
This unprecedented sense of urgency around digital transformation, coupled with greater complexity from expanded, higher-value implementation projects, highlighted the fact that companies cannot go live successfully without a reliable DevOps solution. Copado’s solution speeds development, improves quality, and increases the value of digital transformation projects by a factor of three. We help teams increase the frequency of new releases by at least 13 times while reducing bugs to improve quality by more than 94%.
In one powerful example, Copado enabled the life sciences and healthcare industries to react quickly to the pandemic. Copado DevOps solutions allowed 10 states to rapidly deploy COVID tracking and vaccine management applications – several of which were in production less than 10 days. As a result, one public health agency released nearly 500 user stories in three months – four times faster than normal – and traced 100% of positive COVID-19 cases by the end of August 2020.
The pharmaceutical industry faced the unique challenge of suddenly mobilizing their virtual call centers in the wake of COVID-19. Copado enabled these companies (Veeva CRM and Salesforce customers) to mobilize in record speed by eliminating more than 55 manual tasks – the root cause of excessive risk, waste, and cost – typically required to release new applications.
By providing life sciences IT development teams with visibility and collaboration tools, Copado ensured the move to remote work was fast and seamless.
OSP: Could you please tell us about the Series B infusion, and what your company plans are?
ZB: Copado will continue to expand multi-cloud support, including compatibility with Veeva, and expand its quality, compliance, and security features to ease the friction between stability and innovation in highly regulated industries such as life sciences and healthcare. This is more imperative than ever, as 2020 not only accelerated the digital imperative for every company but also raised executive expectations of the speed, quality and visibility required to run a digital business at scale.
Copado CEO Ted Elliott frames it this way: “Nearly every Salesforce customer is looking to accelerate its development lifecycle to empower teams to move fast and ship software without the fear of failed deployments. With Copado, businesses can deliver more features, faster, with higher user adoption and increased governance and compliance.”
OSP: Is there anything you’d like to add we didn’t touch upon above?
ZB: Speed has been the ultimate driver for Copado’s growth. The COVID-19 crisis caused a massive disruption in work that demanded IT teams increase their pace. But they couldn’t accelerate at the expense of compliance and government regulations. Copado is ISO certified, supports GDPR requirements, and meets all HIPAA standards - features that give development teams the security they need to move fast without increasing risk. Moreover, Copado provides configurable quality gates that allow security teams to embed checkpoints directly within DevOps pipelines and audit trails that give 100% visibility into performance.
The back-office technologies we bring to the life sciences industry can sound complicated, so think of Copado as the accelerator for digital transformation. Many companies started their digital transformation journeys a few years ago, but got sidetracked, delayed, or even failed; the industry can no longer afford these detours.
We process over 50 million DevOps transactions per month and score100% on the Salesforce AppExchange. Companies recognize now that Copado can get them over the finish line fast and with the least resistance.