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Australia’s Healthcare Ventures Launches Digital VC Fund

Sydney, Australia-based Healthcare Ventures has launched a new fund dedicated to early stage and growth companies in the digital healthcare space, the company announced in a press release.

The new fund’s Dec. 16, 2020 registration statement with Australian regulators describes its goal as: “Investment in early stage technology companies working at the intersection of where technology meets healthcare. Those able to democratize healthcare via technology, as they redefine the way we both deliver and consume healthcare.”

“The digitally enabled transformation of healthcare across the globe is happening at a phenomenal pace, accelerated by COVID19 and the resulting focus on data and technologies for advanced individual and population health,” Dr. Louise Schaper, a digital health expert, CEO of the Australasian Institute of Digital Health and member of the new fund’s leadership group, said in the announcement. “We see this as providing significant opportunity for a specialist fund and specialist team [focused] on digital health investment.”

Schaper added, “In 2020, digital health startups in the USA attracted a record US$14 billion of investment capital, in the largest funding year on record. Australia is rich with brilliant innovators and yet funding is only starting to see traction. Healthcare Ventures aims to rectify that.”

Other members of the fund’s leadership group are venture capitalist Roger Allen; veteran health care investor Darren Heathcote; and Dr. Bronwyn King, a radiation oncologist and chief executive of Tobacco Free Portfolios, according to the announcement.

“I have been working with and invested in a number of talented health professionals and am seeing continuous deal-flow of innovations coming from the medical community,” Allen said in the announcement. “This shouldn’t come as a great surprise given our best and brightest have been going into medicine, but what has changed is a strong entrepreneurship mindset and the ability to transform practices through digitization.”

The new fund will be “relatively small,” Allen said, and pursue partnerships and co-investments with less-specialized venture capital funds in Australia and elsewhere.

The advisory board for the new fund consists of Grahame Grieve; Dr. Amandeep Hansra, a general practitioner and angel investor; David Rowlands, an expert in health informatics; and Dr. Arran Schlosberg, a physician and software engineer who according the announcement has worked at Google and DeepMind.

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