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Health, Tech Venture Investor Adds $850M Fund

Investor laptop screen

(StockSnap, Pixabay.

7 Apr. 2023. A venture capital company specializing in early-stage investments in life science, health, and technology start-ups announced a new $850 million fund. Canaan, in Menlo Park, California says its 13th venture fund brings its total managed assets to $6.8 billion.

Canaan, in business since 1987, plans to continue its current investment practices with the new fund. The company says it seeks to build relationships with academic researchers and technology entrepreneurs to build enterprises from their early stages. Canaan says it invests mainly in seed and series A, or first full venture rounds, but continues support through venture exits, such as mergers or IPOs. The company also offers Canaan Build, an enterprise-development service to help their portfolio start-ups with recruiting talent and marketing, two areas where many new ventures struggle.

In the health and life science fields, Canaan says it plans to continue supporting companies with advances that address unmet medical needs and improve health outcomes. Companies with new technologies in cancer, immune, and neurological diseases are expected to receive consideration, along with clinical-stage cardiac and respiratory disease solutions that Canaan says are often overlooked. With its 13th fund, Canaan says it will seek out new treatment mechanisms, such as genetically-guided precision therapies.

Support for frontier technologies

Science & Enterprise reported several times on Canaan investments in life science start-ups. The latest report in Oct. 2022, tells about Canaan leading a $65 million first venture round for Normunity Inc., a spin-off company from Yale University labs developing precision cancer immunotherapies that Normunity says harness more of the full power of T-cells in the immune system to attack tumors.

“We know more today about the fundamental drivers of health and disease than ever before,” says Canaan health care general partner Tim Shannon in a company statement, “and the science being deployed to pursue new therapeutic approaches is staggering. It is a great time to be at the forefront of creating and investing in life science companies that will transform how patients are treated and dramatically improve the outcomes they experience.”

In information technology, Canaan expects to continue supporting start-ups developing security and other enterprise solutions, as well as consumer, finance, and so-called frontier technologies that incorporate advanced computer science and engineering research. These more advanced computing areas include artificial intelligence and machine learning, with applications in  robotics, supply chain, logistics, and autonomous vehicles, along with marketplaces, commerce, and gaming.

For its new Canaan-XIII fund, the company says it raised $650 million for investments in new start-ups, but gained an additional $200 million to support existing portfolio companies.

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