Five years after launch, Seqera sees record growth and continued momentum
BARCELONA, 25.07.23: – As we approach Seqera Labs’ 5th anniversary, it seems like an opportune time to provide an update on Seqera’s business progress. The creators of open-source Nextflow, Tower, MultiQC, and other open-source projects continue to see strong revenue growth and market momentum. In the 16 months since our last update, Seqera has reached several new milestones, including:
- More than doubling its corporate customer base
- Increasing Tower Cloud usage by 160% to roughly 8,000 users
- Raising an additional €22M in Series A funding
- Growing revenue by over 6X in the past 24 months
This success has been fueled by commercial adoption of Tower, Seqera’s flagship product. Tower is an intuitive centralized command post for Nextflow pipelines that enables collaborative analysis of genomics data at scale. Today, an estimated 12,000 scientists, engineers, and developers use Nextflow in their day-to-day work. Two years after its commercial release in 2021, Tower is now used by over 150 leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, including household names such as AstraZeneca, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Oxford Nanopore, and Invitae. Presently, 8 of the top 20 global pharmaceutical firms rely on Seqera Labs’ Tower Enterprise to power their genomics analysis pipelines.
Seqera Labs software is used in over 47 countries.1 Despite its European roots at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona, US-based biotechs, pharmaceuticals, and research organizations now account for over 70% of Seqera’s customer base.
As sequencing costs continue to plummet, the need for scalable genomics analysis is only increasing. Downloads of open-source Nextflow have grown by a staggering 190% — from 55,000 downloads per month in March 2022 to over 160,000+ monthly downloads today.
Nextflow’s considerable momentum is also borne out by recent survey data. According to the annual 2023 State of the Workflow survey of over 500 Nextflow users, 42.4% of respondents have been using the software for one year or less, and 75% have used Nextflow for three years or less, indicating a fast-growing user base. According to findings in the same survey, Nextflow users report a 99% satisfaction rate with the platform.
Perhaps even more encouraging, Nextflow has emerged as a clear choice among the next generation of bioinformaticians. Based on 2023 survey data, 79% of Nextflow users were in the 20-40 age bracket. Moreover, 37% were in their twenties vs. 26% in 2022 — a 42% YoY increase, suggesting a younger cohort of scientists is quickly adopting Nextflow.
Among the keys to the success of Nextflow and Tower are its vibrant user and developer communities. nf-core is an independent effort to collect a curated set of high-quality pipelines built using Nextflow. According to the latest statistics compiled by nf-core, the organization comprises:
- An active community of 6,000+ users
- 1,900+ global researchers contributing code
- 700 organizations supporting nf-core projects
Based on their contributions to open science, Nextflow and nf-core have both been recipients of Essential Open-Science Software (EOSS) grants from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. The CZI Open Science program is aimed at advancing the universal and immediate sharing of scientific knowledge. CZI funding has supported the development of open-source biomedical pipelines written in Nextflow as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives related to internationalization, accessibility, mentorships, and ambassadorships.
In addition to community momentum, there are strong commercial drivers for Tower adoption. Pipelines developed according to community standards run seamlessly on the Tower platform. This means organizations using Tower can immediately benefit from dramatic gains in research productivity by facilitating the sharing of pipelines, data, compute environments, and analysis results. Unlike genomics analysis platforms tied to particular cloud platforms, Nexflow and Tower can run anywhere, providing research organizations with unrivaled flexibility.
By running pipelines in Tower, organizations have demonstrated cost savings of up to 85% and throughput improvements of up to 37% using automated resource optimization built into Tower.2 Similarly, Seqera’s new Fusion file system has demonstrated that it can deliver up to a 2.2x performance gain over standard object storage while reducing cloud storage costs by up to 76%.3
For corporate users, these efficiency improvements and reductions in cloud spending mean that Tower deployments are often self-funding, yielding impressive ROIs and a short payback period.4
Based on its exceptional growth through 2023, Seqera Labs was named winner of the “Most impressive growth” award by the Global Business and Technology Awards in May. Seqera Labs was also a finalist in other categories, including Healthtech Company of the Year and Tech Entrepreneur of the Year.
Perhaps even more impressive, five years from its founding, Seqera Labs now ranks #22 on Galen Growth’s HealthTech 250 – a prestigious list of the most promising early-stage healthcare companies from around the globe.
Seqera Labs also received significant attention for its pivotal role in Covid-19 variant detection during the recent pandemic where Nextflow and Tower enabled public health authorities to rapidly scale genomic surveillance.
Also notable is a recently announced partnership between Seqera and Genomics England to advance genomic research analysis. The collaboration will enable whole genome analysis to be carried out more efficiently and at a larger scale as a part of the UK NHS’s genomic medicine service for patients with cancer and rare diseases. Genomics England will use Seqera’s Tower, a centralized command post for collaborative data analysis, to develop new therapeutics and advance rare disease diagnostics. The partnership will help deliver on the UK Health Security Agency’s (UKHSA) ten-year science strategy by learning the lessons of the recent pandemic and embedding genomics into routine public health practice.
Readers can learn more about Nextflow Tower at http://tower.nf. To get started with Nextflow, and learn more about the platform, see Learn Nextflow in 2023 for an excellent summary of free education resources.
Seqera Labs is the leading provider of workflow orchestration software for data pipeline processing, multi-cloud infrastructure provisioning, and secure collaboration. The core open-source technology Nextflow has transformed the building of massively scalable and distributed computing solutions. The software enables developers and data scientists to create and securely deploy data applications in the cloud and/or on traditional on-premises infrastructure._
3 Based on comparative benchmarks conducted by Seqera Labs in 2023. See the whitepaper Breakthrough performance and cost-efficiency with the new Fusion file system for details.
4 For details on these cost saving opportunities, download the ebook, How to slash your cloud spending with Nextflow Tower.