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New Venture Funds to Back Life Science, Tech Start-Ups

Investor screen

(Stephen Dawson, Unsplash)

26 Jan. 2023. Three new venture funds are seeking to invest up to $6.3 billion in start-up companies with advances in life sciences, health care, energy, and information technologies. New Enterprise Associates is offering two new funds supporting entrepreneurs developing life science/health care and technology solutions, while Pegasus Tech Ventures is partnering with Denka Company Ltd., a chemical manufacturer in Tokyo, to establish a corporate venture fund for investing in a range of new technologies.

New Enterprise Associates in Menlo Park, California and New York unveiled two investment funds totaling $6.2 billion for financing start-ups creating advances in life sciences, health care, and information technology. NEA says its life science and health care investments aim to support drug discovery and therapies in all major disease areas, as well as digital health and devices addressing diagnostics and drug delivery. The company says it backs information technology start-ups developing processes disrupting current software, services, systems, semiconductor, consumer, and Internet markets.

NEA says both of its new funds plan to invest in health care, life science, and IT start-ups, with one fund financing early-stage companies and the other fund supporting growth-stage businesses. The company says it now manages some $25 billion in assets. NEA both leads and takes part in venture rounds. Science & Enterprise has reported on several NEA investments, including leadership of a $53 million first venture round for synthetic biology company Senti Biosciences in Feb. 2018, as well as seed-stage rounds in Feb. 2022 totaling nearly $43 million for two companies developing artificial intelligence technologies.

“Health care innovation has never been more important than at this moment in time,” says NEA general partner Mohamad Makhzoumi in a company statement. Makhzoumi adds that NEA plans to build on its “legacy of creating and investing in the next generation of tech-enabled health care disruptors and transformational life sciences companies.”

Venture Capital-as-a-Service

Pegasus Tech Ventures in San Jose, California provides direct venture funding, but also works with corporations providing what it calls Venture Capital-as-a-Service to help guide those companies’ venture investments. Denka Company is collaborating with Pegasus on its $100 million corporate venture fund to support investments in a broad range of new technologies. Pegasus says it manages more than 30 such funds for corporate partners.

Denka Company, founded in 1915, is a developer and manufacturer of chemicals and materials used in electronics, batteries, construction, agriculture, plastics, and pharmaceuticals. The company’s long-range plan, called Mission 2030, aims to position Denka to better reflect emerging global trends, including more sustainability, to build greater business value in the future.

To help achieve that goal, says Denka, it’s starting a corporate venture fund with Pegasus to support new advances in information technologies, energy, health care, and what it calls “sustainable living”. Denka says it aims to invest in start-ups worldwide, including the U.S., Europe, Israel, and Asia.

“We value the experience that Pegasus brings working across many cultures,” says Toshio Imai, President and CEO of Denka Company in a Pegasus Tech Ventures statement released through Cision, “including Japan, the U.S., and Europe, and the expertise that Pegasus brings facilitating corporate innovation by investing in strategic technologies that can be valuable to Denka.”

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