WA mining billionaire Andrew Forrest has turned his investment focus to the health technology sector, with a new $250 million venture capital fund.
The VC, Tenmile, is backed by Tattarang, the private investment company of the Fortescue Metal Group.
Tenmil will target startups addressing unmet medical needs that support sustainable and equitable healthcare, by providing seed and expansion capital.
Headquartered in Perth with team members in Sydney and San Francisco, it will have a global outlook and has already partnered with San Francisco-based Rock Health and is an investor in its latest digital health fund.
Two previous investments by Dr. Forrest via Tattarang and its charitable arm, the Minderoo Foundation, have been put into the Tenmile portfolio.
The VC’s initial backing went to ASX-listed psychedelic drug medtech Emyria, which announced $5 million from Tattarang last November.
The Minderoo Foundation’s $5.4 million fundraiser for cancer biotech startup Carina Biotech was announced last September. The Adelaide-based biotech is using the cash injection to research and develop chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapies that could provide novel approaches to treating solid cancers.
dr. Forrest said it was different from other local venture capital funds in that it focuses solely on health technology and can act quickly with no obligations to investors and lenders.
“Our laser-focused approach means we can help early-stage companies, researchers and entrepreneurs tap into seed capital to help them when they need it most, then provide follow-up support, which is often not available through government or public funds. sector,” it said.
“Tenmil will help Australian researchers and Australian companies through our extensive knowledge, global networks and committed capital to deliver life-changing products and medical treatments in a way this country has never seen before.”
His wife and co-chair of Tattarang, Nicola Forrest, said the fund is strongly committed to ethical and sustainable health treatments and technology.
“Tenmil is another demonstration of our focus on using capital as a force for good and will apply Tattarang’s responsible investment framework, including supporting women-founded and run health companies,” she said.
dr. Health technology veteran Steve Burnell has been named executive chairman of Tenmile.
“While Tenmile is focused on opportunities in Australia and building the broader health science commercialization ecosystem here, we will continue to invest and collaborate in international markets, both for returns and to support our Australian investors to gain access internationally to markets and capital,” he said. .
“Health technology for us encompasses areas as diverse as medical devices, diagnostics, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and even healthcare. We are especially excited about new opportunities in immunology, oncology, digital health, the microbiome and microbial resistance.”