Clinverse attracts $9.1 million in funding

Clinverse, a Durham company whose software is used by drug companies and contract research organizations, has raised $9.1 million in new funding.

The privately held company, which announced the cash infusion Tuesday, also plans to use the money to bolster its product development efforts.

“I think we’re ahead of our competition, but if you stand still too long, the competition will run by you,” said CEO Denis Connaghan.

Clinverse plans on expanding its staff, but the company hasn’t yet formulated how many additional employees it will need, Connaghan said. Today the company has 50 employees, including 17 at its Durham headquarters.

Clinverse’s cloud-based ClinPay software automates the complex process of paying hospitals, physicians and research centers for work conducted in conjunction with clinical trials of experimental drugs.

The company’s revenue doubled in 2013 and is on track to more than double this year, Connaghan said.

Clinverse previously raised $7.9 million from outside investors. Its latest funding was led by New Jersey-based Edison Partners. Prior investors, including Hatteras Venture Partners of Durham, also participated in the deal.

Clinverse is attracting “the right kind of customers – enterprise customers, big customers,” said John Crumpler, a general partner at Hatteras. “We think we’re at something of a tipping point.”

The company was founded in Charlotte in 2008 but moved to the Triangle two years later because of the wealth of contract research organizations, or CROs, in the area.

CROs help drug companies conduct clinical trials and analyze the results. There are more CRO companies in the Triangle than anywhere else.

Connaghan, who joined the company 12 months ago, said Clinverse hasn’t done a great job of landing North Carolina customers thus far.

“Sometimes you don’t do as well in your back yard as you should,” he said.

But he sees that changing.

“I think you’ll find, over the next year, that a lot of our growth will be driven out of North Carolina,” he said. “We have some exciting things going with both CROs and biopharma (companies) in this state.”