ResearchGate, the social network for scientists and researchers, has raised $52.6 million from several investors including Wellcome Trust, Goldman Sachs Investment Partners, and Four Rivers Group.

Other participants in the round included Ashton Kutcher, Groupe Arnault, Xavier Niel, and existing investors Bill Gates, Tenaya Capital, Benchmark, and Founders Fund.

The German company, founded in 2008, secured the funding back in November 2015 but is only now making the investment public. Since securing the funding, ResearchGate has amassed 12 million scientists on its social network that are collaborating and sharing research and in March of last year it launched Projects, a feature for keeping users up to date on the latest research.

The social network is free to use with the company’s business model involving advertising for scientific products and services.

“On ResearchGate, for the first time in history, millions of scientists are speaking out and providing transparency into their current research,” said CEO of ResearchGate, Ijad Madisch. “ResearchGate has become the place where scientific progress happens – and where everyone can learn about it.”

“ResearchGate is an innovative and widely-used platform, which connects researchers with their peers around the world,” commented Geoffrey Love of Wellcome Trust’s investment division. “Through providing a space to share results and ideas, it is helping researchers to advance their research and develop applications that benefit society.”

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