(Last Update: December 24, 2023, by adding Cromatic.bio)
A life sciences marketplace is an online platform that operates with a "many-to-many" business logic, hosting multiple suppliers and buyers interacting via various e-commerce tools available as part of the website's functionality.
Why are marketplaces valuable? Buyers can quickly compare and select superior offerings without having to research multiple websites or browse online for price comparisons or product specifications. Furthermore, marketplaces bring increased transparency, trust, and standardization to the procurement process.
On the other hand, suppliers can access a more targeted audience directed to their product or service pages. In fact, a well-represented company profile with a detailed catalog can be a powerful lead magnet for potential customers.
Image credit: Andrey Suslov iStock
Both buyers and suppliers greatly benefit when a marketplace takes on operational activities, such as bidding, quoting, invoicing, consulting, and basic customer support.
Typically, marketplaces offer catalog search capabilities, options to request quotes and place orders online, as well as payment options to complete a purchase. Sometimes, marketplaces utilize various rating or verification algorithms to ensure website users—suppliers and buyers alike—are reliable business partners.
Some modern marketplaces also include more sophisticated components, like community-building capabilities, artificial intelligence-based recommendation systems, or advanced integration APIs to connect with other types of software, such as spend-management systems.
Life science marketplaces
The pharmaceutical and biotech B2B sector has been slow to adopt advanced e-commerce workflows compared to other consumer industries, struggling with an outdated supply chain.
However, e-commerce is currently a growing trend in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, with several notable marketplaces available across various product and service categories.
It's crucial to understand that the inherently more complex nature of scientific products, compared to everyday items, necessitates more advanced tools and a more sophisticated user experience in life sciences marketplaces. Scientists require more information than what's readily available on product packaging; nomenclature often varies between manufacturers, making it difficult to compare products directly, and selecting the wrong product can lead to flawed data and poor or non-reproducible results.
Let's explore some of the life sciences marketplaces in pharma and biotech, and how they address the industry's unique challenges. These marketplaces have been illustratively categorized by specialization:
- Life sciences marketplaces for various research products (consumables, reagents, research materials)
- Life sciences roduct search & comparison engines
- Life sciences R&D outsourcing services
- Life sciences marketplaces for R&D crowdsourcing (open innovation challenges)
- Life sciences marketplaces for hiring talent
- Biospecimens procurement and health data
- Fine chemicals procurement (building blocks, screening compounds, intermediates)
Life Sciences Marketplaces for Various Research Products (consumables, reagents, research materials)
Established in 2015, Zageno is a cutting-edge life sciences marketplace that streamlines biotechnological online shopping and life science procurement, claiming to save scientists a full week of time each year. With a database comprising over 20 million product items from more than 3,500 suppliers, Zageno utilizes advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) for product information aggregation, creating seamless workflows.
Drawing from millions of scientific publications, Zageno has developed a unique "Zageno Scientific Score" metric to compare research materials and select the best solution for a given study. The life sciences marketplace offers a wide variety of supplies, ranging from lab consumables and equipment to antibodies, cell cultures, molecules, and kits.
Zageno provides an enhanced shopping experience, complete with end-to-end customer care and responsibility for all necessary steps – from a user-friendly product approval mechanism for lab heads and administrators to invoicing, payment, and order delivery. For researchers seeking to optimize their spending on research materials, Zageno has created a spending analytics dashboard that promotes high levels of cost-efficiency.
The company has raised a total of $88M through a series of venture capital rounds. Over six years, Zageno has expanded its network globally, primarily focusing on the US, UK, and Germany.
California-based company Quartzy is not only a marketplace but also a lab inventory management system. Quartzy software allows customers to transfer previous inventory data directly to the system, keep track of all research materials with a broad range of characteristics, submit requests to lab managers for ordering, compare products from different vendors and monitor delivery. Vendors that collaborate with Quartzy include MilliporeSigma, New England BioLabs, Qiagen, Bio-techne etc. For spending analysis and control, Quartzy offers integration with accounting software.
Buyers do not have to pay for the service, yet sellers pay for a place on the marketplace. The company’s clients include world top research institutes like Stanford, Oxford, Duke, Harvard Medical School, and industrial leaders like Kite Pharma, Abbvie and Beyond Meat. Quartzy’s financial support from investors equals $27.2 million and was received in 5 funding rounds.
This content available exclusively for BPT Mebmers
Topics: Emerging Technologies