Academic Research Platform Sciencescape Raises $2.5M, Partners With Educational Publisher Elsevier

Canadian startup Sciencescape has just closed a $2.5 million round of funding, and is considering extending it into a $3 million round since it was oversubscribed, co-founder Sam Molyneux revealed on stage today at the Extreme Startups 4th cohort demo day in Toronto. Molyneux was giving an update on his company’s progress, which was a member of the last graduating class of the Canadian accelerator.

The round isn’t the only progress the startup has made, as Molyneux also revealed that Sciencescape has now partnered with Elsevier, the global educational publishing giant that snapped up Sciencescape sort-of-competitor Mendeley last year. Like Mendeley, Sciencescape hopes to become a social connection point for academics, researchers and students to work together on real academic progress.

Sciencescape’s platform employs natural language processing and sophisticated content identification algorithms to essentially become a series of curated feeds of papers and studies that can then be more easily perused and followed by academics actually doing the work. This helps make the huge mountain of academic research going through journals and other sources much more manageable, according to what founder Molyneux told me at Extreme’s demo day last year.

The partnership with Elsevier provides access to 11 million full-text articles through Sciencescape directly, which is a great boon to anyone using its platform since they don’t require any subscription to any outside journals or databases to get at that content. And as Elsevier has proven hungry for this kind of acquisition target in the past, it’s worth keeping an eye on that to see if they might not want to swallow up even more of the burgeoning academic tech market.

Research-oriented startups working in academic markets have become a hot investment target lately, with ResearchGate drawing a whopping $35 million from Benchmark, Bill Gates and other investors midway through last year. Sciencescape raising this much this early as a Canadian startup is just further proof that investors are very excited about this area.