Life sciences-focused ACTO announces $11.5 million USD Series A raised at height of the pandemic

Toronto-based startup ACTO has announced the $11.5 million USD ($15 million CAD) Series A round it closed in April, adding multiple US-based investors.

The $11.5 million, all-equity investment was led by Resolve Growth Partners, a Baltimore-based growth equity firm, which focuses exclusively on cutting $5 million to $30 million cheques for companies that pull in between $3 million to $10 million in recurring revenue. As part of the deal, Chris Rhodes, co-founder and managing director of Resolve, has joined ACTO’s board of directors.

ACTO claims to have global reach, counting more than 50 life sciences companies as customers.

The round also included follow-on investment from Panache Ventures, and strategic funding from new investor Salesforce Ventures, which has invested in the likes of Vidyard, Stripe, Dropbox, and DocuSign.

ACTO’s CEO, Parth Khanna, said in a statement to BetaKit that the company is not at liberty to discuss the nature of the investment “per Salesforce Ventures guidance.” However, Salesforce Ventures has openly discussed its focus on making investments that strategically align with the cloud-based software company, as well as creating opportunities for its portfolio with Salesforce customers and partners.

The Series A capital brings ACTO’s total funding to date, according to the company, to $14.1 million USD. When asked about ACTO’s decision to announce funding it had raised almost five months ago, a spokesperson for the company pointed to the pandemic for having “played into the delay.”

Founded in 2014, ACTO, which gets its name from ‘Act-Today,’ offers training, analytics, and data tracking for life sciences salespeople. ACTO’s ultimate goal is to disrupt “how drugs and devices are promoted and brought to market.”

ACTO has developed an artificial intelligence-powered platform, which provides mobile experiences to educate, engage, and support life sciences sales professionals. Its app offers “mobile microlearning,” a digital briefcase, remote coaching, virtual training, and live events. According to the company, global pharmaceutical and medical device companies are able to access real-time insights in order to promote on clinical value, which it says can increase sales, drive brand impact, and reduce compliance risk.

RELATED: How ACTO created 30x revenue growth with the right international expansion strategy

ACTO claims to have global reach, counting more than 50 life sciences companies, including AstraZeneca, Teleflex, and Philips Respironics, as customers. ACTO’s focus on the United States market led to 30x increase in revenue growth for the startup.

ACTO, which is backed by the likes of MaRS IAF, states its app is currently used daily by tens of thousands of field reps in more than 90 countries.

Khanna noted that ACTO is on a mission to build the world’s best omnichannel education and engagement ecosystem for life sciences.

“On average it takes $2 billion dollars and 14 years to take a drug from the lab to bedside,” Khanna told BetaKit last year. “But when these products are entering the stream of commerce, senior leaders have no objective data coming back from the field to show if their [sales] strategies are working.”

ACTO is using the $11.5 million in Series A capital to continue to build on its technology. The Toronto startup is currently in the process of launching a series of new capabilities designed for frontline healthcare workers.

With the new offering, sales reps, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers (HCP) will be able to use conversational AI to access clinical information regarding drugs and devices.

Khanna told BetaKit that the startup is also launching patient-facing products with plans to acquire patient education technologies, as well as “micro solutions” that currently exist in the life sciences ecosystem.

UPDATE 27/08/2020: This story has been updated to reflect that the $11.5 million is USD and not CAD as previously stated. ACTO’s total funding to date has also been updated.

Meagan Simpson

Meagan Simpson

Meagan is the Associate Editor for BetaKit. A tech writer that is super proud to showcase the Canadian tech scene. Background in almost every type of journalism from sports to politics. Podcast and Harry Potter nerd, photographer and crazy cat lady.