(This press release was issued by Seroba Life Sciences on Thursday 2 February 2017)
2 February 2017. The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, today announced the first close of €100 million of the Seroba Life Sciences Fund III which provides significant investment opportunities for the life sciences sector in Europe. This is the fifth fund supported by Government through Enterprise Ireland’s €175m Seed and Venture Capital Programme 2013 – 2018.
Headquartered in Dublin, Seroba Life Sciences (Seroba) has an experienced fund management team, based in both Ireland and the UK. The closing of the new fund, Seroba’s third, builds on the firm’s track record of success in life science investing.
Making the announcement, Minister Mitchell O’Connor said: “Venture capital is essential for the growth and development of successful high potential Irish business and I am delighted to announce the creation of Seroba’s third fund. This fund is very important, marking a significant increase in the availability of capital for companies in the life sciences sector. It advances Enterprise Ireland’s strategy of supporting the sustained growth and internationalisation of this vibrant sector and will help drive the commercialisation of new and innovative products from ambitious Irish companies.”
The new Seroba fund will have a similar investment strategy to its predecessor, dedicated to product-focused, innovative, early and mid-stage life sciences companies in Ireland, the UK and other European markets that offer a potential significant return on investment. A limited number of investments may also be made in the United States as well as in US companies wishing to establish a presence in Ireland in order to leverage the Irish life sciences ecosystem. The fund will focus primarily on therapeutics and medical devices but will also consider other opportunities in the life sciences sector.
The Seroba fund will lead or co-lead its investments, typically taking a board seat and supporting the company as it develops and grows. Over the lifetime of each investment, it is expected that Seroba will invest up to €10m per company.In the first close on its Fund III, Seroba welcomed returning investors, with investments from Enterprise Ireland, the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, current institutional investors and also expanded its investor base with new investors including the European Investment Fund.
Peter Sandys, Managing Partner of Seroba, commenting on the new fund said: “We are delighted to announce our first close at €100m. We feel this is an excellent time to launch a new life sciences fund as there is a strong pipeline of investment opportunities and an ongoing robust demand for new innovative products from the healthcare industry. With a broad base of high quality investors, our new fund is well positioned to capitalise on the significant investment opportunities within the Irish and European Life Sciences sector.”
EIF Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert said: “EIF has been pleased to engage with the manager at an early stage of this fundraising process and to play its part in catalysing a closing of sufficient critical mass for the fund. We are pleased that EIF’s commitment will increase access to early stage funding in Europe, and Ireland in particular, which is a major life science hub recognised for its scientific and industrial output, not least in the medtech domain”.
“Ireland is home to world class life sciences and medtech companies and plays a fundamental role in unlocking economic growth and developing key skills based on close collaboration between academia, industry, government and specialist investors. The European Investment Fund is pleased to support Seroba which will increase funding to the sector, helping to bridge an existing financing gap and contributing to the industry’s continued development.” said Andrew McDowell, European Investment Bank Vice President.
Eugene O’Callaghan, Director of the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund said ‘The Irish life sciences sector is of critical importance to Ireland’s economic prosperity and ISIF is delighted to continue to support Seroba as a key component of the domestic healthcare venture capital landscape, through our investment in Fund III.”
Welcoming the announcement, Walter Hobbs, Executive Director, Investment and Finance, Enterprise Ireland said, “Ireland continues to rapidly grow as a leading global health and life sciences hub and I would like to congratulate Seroba on their success in raising their third fund which will assist in providing the healthcare market with leading innovative, effective, scalable products and services. Enterprise Ireland looks forward to working with the team to drive the further development and growth of the Irish life sciences sector in global markets”.
As part of the fund closing, Seroba’s investment team has been expanded with James Greene an experienced, serial medtech entrepreneur joining the venture capital firm as partner. Jim is the former founder and CEO of several successful medtech start-ups including Apica, APK and Mitral Solutions and he was previously with Perclose, Medtronic and Bioheart.
The first investment of the new fund has been made in Endotronix Ireland Limited, a subsidiary of medtech and digital health company, Endotronix Inc. Endotronix’s CordellaTM Heart Failure system combines a cloud-based patient management system and an implantable pulmonary artery sensor for improved outpatient hemodynamic management.
There are more than 20 million people suffering from heart failure worldwide and it is the leading cause of hospitalisation for people over 65. The CordellaTM wireless solution seamlessly integrates daily clinical monitoring of key physiological data with improved communication between patients, caregivers and clinicians for earlier detection of worsening heart failure. Seroba has participated in a $32 million Series C round of financing alongside a strong international syndicate of healthcare investors which includes BioVentures Investors, SV Life Sciences, Lumira Capital, Aperture Venture Partners and OSF Ventures. The investment was led by Jennifer McMahon who will be the fund’s representative on the board of Endotronix.
Speaking about Seroba’s investment in Endotronix, Jennifer McMahon said: “We believe that the Cordella system has the capacity to transform the management of chronic heart failure, a disease that places a huge burden on healthcare systems worldwide. The Cordella heart failure system will be well positioned to deliver better patient care to those suffering from this debilitating disease and we in Seroba look forward to being a part of this future success.”A number of additional investments for the fund are in the process of being completed.