Wellington start-up Publons, which raised over $300,000 through accelerator Lightning Lab, has been acquired by Clarivate Analytics for an undisclosed sum.

The company aims to speed up research by bringing transparency, recognition, and training to peer review.
It has a community of more than 150,000 researchers who’ve added more than 800,000 reviews.

Publons also has partnerships with 26 of the top publishers in the world.

Publons co-founders Andrew Preston and Daniel Johnston started the company in 2012, taking it through Lightning Lab’s first accelerator programme in 2013.

Chairman Dave Moskovitz said the company had produced a significant return on investment, managing to grow quickly since its launch.

“Most companies would take maybe seven to 10 years to really turn into valuable companies so the fact that Publons were the first accelerator cohort in New Zealand and they’ve managed to turn around in four years is pretty amazing,” Moskovitz said.

“It’s a huge win for startups, their founders, and investors, as it validates that we can build companies of great value internationally from Wellington.

“There are a number of other companies that have come through accelerators so we can expect to see more great exits in years to come. This one happened particularly quickly.”

Clarivate said the acquisition would help address critical issues in the US$1.7 trillion ($2.4t) global research market, including fraud, lack of reproducibility in scientific research, inefficiencies and the ability to identify and understand top research.

The company has 14 staff including its co-founders, all of whom would continue to work for the business Moskovitz said.

First published in NZ Herald – 1st June 2017