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Texas HealthTech Gets Boost As Santè Ventures Raises $250M For Fund III

Santé Ventures, an Austin-based healthcare and life science-focused venture firm, has raised $250 million in its third fund.

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The amount is significantly higher than the $132 million and $139 million raised in the firm’s first two funds, which closed in 2007 and 2011, respectively.

Kevin Lalande, co-founder and managing director of Santé Ventures, said the firm plans to make 20-25 new early-stage investments out of the new fund. It’s already made three deals so far (equal to about 6.5 percent of its capital), putting money into San Jose-based Cryosa, which is developing treatment of sleep apnea; DyaMX, a Minnesota company focused on a treatment of Type II diabetes, and Geneos Therapeutics, a neoantigen-based personalized cancer therapy with headquarters in Pennsylvania.

Sante Ventures Funds Over Time

The new fund was about 25 percent oversubscribed, according to Santé, and included more than 30 limited partners. Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System committed $75 million to Fund III, and another $75 million to a planned Fund IV. It also contributed to Santé’s first two funds.

Founded in 2006, Santé has invested in a total of 33 companies, including the three startups referenced above. It’s had nearly a dozen exits, according to its Crunchbase profile, including Boston Scientific scooping up Claret Medical (for $270 million) and Millipede Medical (for $540 million); Becton Dickinson acquiring TVA Medical and IBM purchasing Explorys.

About 40 percent of the firm’s portfolio is made up of Texas companies. But Lalande points out that some companies’ technologies originated in other locales but were moved to the area so that the investors could be physically closer to help them scale.

“With many of our portfolio companies, we either created them or were the first investor,” Lalande told Crunchbase News. “We usually write the first check and support a company all the way to the end.”

Santé says that it is looking for “compelling opportunities”  in the medtech, biotech, digital health, and health care services sectors. It has an office in Houston’s Texas Medical Center (for obvious reasons) and is the only VC firm focused on the space in the Austin area.

Previously, Lalande spent seven years at the now-defunct Austin Ventures.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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