Somite Raised $5.3M in Pre-seed Round to Revolutionize Cell Therapy with AI


Somite, a venture-backed company aiming to revolutionize stem cell biology with AI, has announced the successful closure of a $5.3 million pre-seed funding round. Led by Israel’s prominent Venture fund TechAviv, the round also saw participation from renowned Austin-based VCs Next Coast Ventures, Trust Ventures, Texas Venture Partners, as well as NY-based Lerer Hippeau, among others. The funding will fuel the continued development of Somite’s proprietary AlphaStem AI platform, establish Somite labs, and advance the first therapeutic asset into phase 1 clinical trials.

Founded in October 2023, Somite is dedicated to building AI foundation models for the scalable production of human tissue for cell therapies. These therapies hold immense potential to cure a wide range of diseases involving the loss or deficiency of cell populations, including Diabetes, Obesity, and Muscular Dystrophies.

The founding team comprises five distinguished experts in their respective fields: Dr. Micha Breakstone, a seasoned AI entrepreneur who previously sold for $575 million, serves as the CEO. He is joined by Dr. Jonathan Rosenfeld, the CTO, who pioneered AI scaling laws at MIT, along with Boston-based scientists Dr. Olivier Pourquie, Dr. Allon Klein, and Dr. Cliff Tabin, who bring expertise in developmental biology, stem cells, and computational biology.

Cell therapy represents a revolutionary approach to medical treatment by replacing missing, damaged, or diseased cells. Despite recent advancements in stem cell research, challenges persist in terms of efficiency, scalability, and robustness across existing protocols. aims to address these challenges by excelling in the efficient production of cells derived from somites—a critical embryonic structure giving rise to musculoskeletal cells.

Leveraging its expertise, Somite is pioneering the development of a digital twin of the embryo—a computational model mirroring real embryo development and behavior. This digital twin, drawing from data-rich sources such as scRNA-Seq, scATAC-seq, and gene expression databases, empowers Artificial Intelligence to uncover innovative protocols, identify regulators of cell differentiation, and conduct rapid optimization cycles.

Somite’s proprietary digital twin expedites protocol iterations and surfaces actionable insights, further bolstered by optimization work performed in the Pourquie laboratory. This approach has led to significant milestones, including acceptance to the esteemed Blavatnik Harvard Life Labs and securing intellectual property for groundbreaking patents.

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