A Seattle-based venture capital firm has raised more than a quarter of $1 billion for its second fund and added two executives, one of whom comes from the world’s largest philanthropic organization.
Biomatics Capital said Thursday that it had raised $300 million for the fund, from family offices, institutions and individuals. The firm said it would invest the money in companies focused on diagnostics, therapeutics, research and development and clinical care. It also added two new partners: Boston-based investor Errik Anderson and medical doctor Mike Poole, who headed investment in research and development technologies at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The size of the new fund is consistent with what Biomatics sought to raise in the Form D it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the middle of May. The fund comes two years after the November 2016 completion of its first fund raise of $200 million. According to an April 2016 Form D filing, the firm had sought to raise $150 million for that fund.
Pool’s focus will be on investing in diagnostics and treatments for neurological disorders, particularly those that are based on genomics and data. Before working at the Gates Foundation, he served as vice president and head of neuroscience innovation at AstraZeneca, in addition to specializing in neurodegenerative diseases as chief medical officer of Link Medicine and Hypnion. Anderson will work out of Biomatics’ new Boston office as the company seeks to connect with the biotechnology and health sectors on the East Coast.
Biomatics’ portfolio includes the diagnostics and cancer blood testing firm Grail, which in May closed a $300 million oversubscribed Series C funding round. Others include Cambridge, Massachusetts-based eGenesis Bio, a firm using CRISPR-Cas9 technology to enable transplantation of pig organs into humans; digital health firm Verana Health; genomic sequencing company Omniome; and firms developing drugs for neurological disorders such as Denali Therapeutics and BlackThorn Therapeutics.
In June, Pfizer increased its venture capital arm’s investment pool by $600 million, setting aside $150 million for neuroscience, having closed its neuroscience division earlier this year. In an SEC filing last month, ARCH Venture Partners set out to raise $600 million for its 10th fund, dubbed Fund X, having raised $408.4 million for Fund IX in 2016. Also last month, Taiho Ventures – the venture capital arm of Japanese drugmaker Taiho Pharmaceutical – increased its investment pool from $50 million to $300 million.
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