Startups

Google Ventures CEO: Our focus on the life sciences will grow

Here’s an overview of how Google Ventures has invested in healthcare and the life sciences just this year.

Nearly a third of Google Ventures‘ investments are in the life sciences, according to the firm’s president and CEO Bill Maris. It’s entering 2016 with $2.4 billion under management, Maris wrote in a blog – and says will continue to strengthen its focus on the life sciences.

This is a major uptick from its portfolio just two years ago, when only six percent of its startup investments were in the life sciences.

“The technology is moving quickly for the benefit of a lot of patients, which is the most exciting part of this,” Maris told Business Insider. “We’ve had success here in the past, and for me, it’s personally one of the most gratifying areas to invest capital in.”

That said, Google Ventures, newly christened “GV” per its new websitewill reduce its investments in seed-stage startups, Maris told the Wall Street Journal. This is right in line with current life sciences investment practices, in which the dollars are being directed more toward later stage startups

Maris has previously outlined his – and GV’s – eight key areas of focus in the life sciences. These include machine learning and artificial intelligence, understanding the brain, reinventing antibiotics, battling cancer with immunotherapy and pharmacogenomics, genetic repair with tools like CRISPR, the microbiome, organ generation and stem cell technology.

The company released data Sunday on its startup portfolio for the year. Many of its health investments have happened in the past three months. GV’s healthcare startup investments from this year include:

Denali TherapeuticsDenali closed out a stunning $217 million round. GV has listed it as a portfolio company, though it’s unclear how much it’s invested. The biotech startup is focused on neurodegenerative disease.

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Editas Medicine: GV participated in a $120 million round. This startup employs CRISPR gene editing technology for therapeutic use.

Metabiota: Received $1 million from GV. This epidemiology startup uses big data to track disease outbreaks, managing and mitigating infectious disease spread.

Collective Health: GV led an $81 million round. This health insurance management platform is geared toward allowing employers to enroll employees in health plans with its user-friendly online portal.

PatientPing: GV led an $9.6 million round. This startup is aimed at allowing doctors to share patient data more simply, with an ultimate reducing readmission rates with care coordination.

TinyRx: GV invested in a $5 million round this year. The company’s going up against Pillpack, and other such custom prescription delivery services, by finding the best-priced drugs and hand-delivering them.

ZephyrHealthGV led a $17.5 million round. This analytics startup organizes and visualizes global health data to provide business intelligence to life sciences startups

Oscar HealthGV invested $32.5 million. The startup takes an alternate spin on the health insurance market, again focusing on user experience and ease in choosing an appropriate health plan.

[Image courtesy of Google Ventures]