If the Internet can let you rent someone’s futon, car or cooking skills, it can certainly help you get your hands on some spare scientists or lab time.
Right? Right. That’s the premise behind Science Exchange, a Palo Alto-based startup that lets researchers buy or sell access to people and equipment they can use to run lab tests and experiments.
Scientists are already used to outsourcing certain kinds of work, either because they don’t have the time or the resources to do it themselves. So Science Exchange isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel — they’re just digitizing it and putting it up for bid on the Web, like everything else.
Those numbers have been enough to help the company land a $3 million Series A round, led by Union Square Ventures, along with O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures. Earlier investors who had helped the Y Combinator company raise a $1.5 million seed round are also back; they include Yuri Milner, Lerer Ventures and XG Ventures.