“So ResearchGATE is Facebook for Scientists?” I asked ex-Facebook exec, current Benchmark Capital general partner and new ResearchGATE investor Matt Cohler. “I bristle at that characterization,” he responded telling me that doesn’t adequately describe the company.
Either way he’s invested in the Berlin based startup, along with Accel Partners, Simon Levene, Michael Birch, Joachim Schoss, Martin Sinner, Ulrich Essmann, Christian Vollmann and Rolf Christof Dienst. Cohler, Levene and Schoss also join the company’s board of directors.
Oddly, the company won’t disclose the size of the round, other than to say it’s a typical series A round, which implies $5 million or so.
We first wrote about ResearchGate in May, when Leena Rao called it, ahem, LinkedIn for scientists (I know, but context is always nice):
On ResearchGATE, scientists can create Facebook-like profiles where users can list their education, work experience, skills and interests and attach research papers. Users can add professional contacts by searching for other researchers who have the same focus. ResearchGATE also gives users the option to engage in online discussions by joining or forming groups. ResearchGATE also offers a few applications that help connect scientists in the virtual world. ReStory, similar to GoogleDocs, allows users to collaborate together with colleagues to write and edit documents. ReMeet lets users schedule meetings and conference calls online and ReVote enables users to create surveys and polls on topics.
There are already half a million registered users on ResearchGate – proving that scientist types need a little social networking, too. Just don’t expect them to start playing Farmville any time soon. They’d probably cheat and genetically modify all the crops anyway.