In 2022, LabCorp paid a reported $450 million to acquire Personal Genome Diagnostics, not long after the genomic testing company had raised a $103 million Series C.
Megan Bailey, the CEO of PGDx, says fundraising is essentially doing two jobs all the time.
"You've got to lead the company and find the right areas of prioritization to demonstrate the progress, demonstrate the value, demonstrate the impact, and keep moving the business forward, while also running the fundraising process," Bailey says. "And clearly the two are linked, but it's quite time consuming, of course, not only in the initial engagements, but all the subsequent rounds of diligence across multiple parties."
Keeping both the company and the fundraising process advancing at all times is an around-the-clock undertaking, she says. To manage that required a small, core team of strong leaders who remained fully committed to the mission, the team, and who could remain fully optimistic, even in the face of reasons not to be — that the business would find the path forward, find the right partners, and secure the needed capital.
"And there are moments where it doesn't feel that way. But I think you need a group of people around you that share that belief with you and in you, and that remain calm in the midst of the storm and unflappable in the in the moments where something does come up in diligence that's concerning or to be addressed, or somebody says, No, after months of invested time," she says. "You really need that trust among the team to understand why we're going to keep showing up the next day."
The experience, she says, was stormy, time consuming and exhausting. But it was also, as she looks back on it, something she says she's most proud of because of the team's commitment in getting through those challenges and finding the needed funds.
Navigating the deal with LabCorp, she says, was much like fundraising — very time consuming.
"It's because it's with the other party, it's with the board, it's when to share what with the leadership team, it's the hundreds of hours of diligence and thousands of documents and answering a question about a term in an agreement from 10 years ago," Bailey says. "And so, you just have to, again, sign up with commitment to why you're doing it and continue leading through that the best you can."
Bailey spoke on the Smart Business Dealmakers Podcast to offer a peek inside the deal —what it was like building the deal team, getting buy-in, how they chose LabCorp and why they pursued a sale after successfully raising a $103 million dollar Series C earlier that same year.