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Eric Lefkofsky speaking about Tempus at the Milken Institute Global Conference in California in May 2017. © 2017 Bloomberg Finance LP

Billionaire Eric Lefkofsky built his fortune saving customers money on travel and restaurants with Groupon GRPN +0.07%

. Now with his latest startup, Tempus, he’s trying to save their lives.

Focused on using genomic sequencing to help doctors customize cancer treatments, Lefkofsky’s Chicago-based Tempus announced Monday that it has raised $70 million in its series C funding round from investors Revolution Growth and New Enterprise Associates.

This funding is part of a total $130 million raised since Lefkofsky started Tempus in 2015 with longtime business partner and fellow Groupon cofounder Brad Keywell. The latest fundraising puts the valuation of Tempus at approximately $700 million, according to an unnamed source close to the deal. A spokesperson for Lefkofsky would not comment on Tempus' valuation.

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Lefkofsky, who is CEO, and Keywell have personally invested in every fundraising round for Tempus and remain its largest individual investors. Last year, Lefkofsky told Crain’s Chicago Business that he was willing to invest up to $100 million in the business.

New investors NEA and Revolution Growth have funded companies like stock trading app Robinhood (NEA), salad chain Sweetgreen (Revolution) and personal genomics firm 23andMe (NEA). Revolution Growth, started by fellow billionaire Steve Case, makes just two to three investments a year focusing on startups based outside Silicon Valley and New York City.


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But why venture into healthcare after a career spent in the tech industry? Three years ago Lefkofsky’s wife Liz was diagnosed with breast cancer. During her treatment, he noticed the lack of a sophisticated infrastructure in how clinical data collection took place, he told MedCity News in July.

Now, Tempus is using technology to compile large quantities of genomic and clinical data from cancer patients so doctors can use that to better personalize treatment.

“In oncology, and across healthcare more broadly, datasets have historically been small and disorganized,” Lefkofsky said in a statement. “Thankfully, technology has opened the door to new possibilities and for the first time in history, it is possible to amass massive amounts of molecular and clinical data and put it to work for the benefit of patients.”

In the last year, Tempus has announced partnerships with the Mayo Clinic , Duke University School of Medicine and the Cleveland Clinic , among others. The company states that it’s building "the world’s largest library of clinical and molecular data to personalize and improve cancer care."

Lefkofsky, who remains Groupon’s chairman, is also a cofounder with Keywell of big data unicorn Uptake Technologies, which had raised $90 million at a $2 billion valuation as of April, according to VC funding database Pitchbook. (Revolution is also an Uptake investor.) Together Lefkofsky and Keywell have started several companies including their own VC fund Lightbank, advertising software company Mediaocean and publicly-traded  Echo Global Logistics ECHO +0.93%


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Reporting on the business of healthcare and medicine, with earlier stints on the Forbes wealth team and editing the Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe lists. Pre-Forbes I interned at the Culture desk of The New York Times. Email me at mtindera@forbes.com and follow me on twitter @mti...

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