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UPDATE 1-Berlin psychedelics startup Atai raises $157 mln, eyes IPO -source

·1 min read

(Adds source on valuation and potential IPO)

March 3 (Reuters) - Berlin biotech startup Atai Life Sciences, which is exploring the use of psychedelic treatments for depression, anxiety and addiction, on Wednesday said that it had raised $157 million from investors to develop its drugs pipeline.

A source close to the matter said the funding round had valued Atai at about $2 billion, adding that the company was considering floating on the U.S. stock market in May.

The financing was led by existing backers - co-founder Christian Angermayer and early Facebook investor Peter Thiel - as well as new investor Woodline Partners.

Angermayer is a vocal advocate of the mental health benefits of psychedelics such as psilocybin - the active ingredient in so-called magic mushrooms - while Atai, which he co-founded in 2018, describes itself as a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company.

Also taking part in the so-called Series D round were Fearless Ventures, Falcon Edge Capital, Pura Vida Pro LLC, Catalio Capital Management, Subversive Capital and Highline Capital. (Reporting by Douglas Busvine and Nadine Schimroszik Editing by Emma Thomasson and David Goodman)