Venture Capital Firm Directs $750 Million to Health and Biotech Start-Ups

Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz has launched Biofund III, a $750 million fund directed at health and biology start-ups like EQRx, which hopes to drive down drug prices by developing cheaper versions of new medicines.

“There’s something different that’s emerging when biotechnology, technology, and health care intersect,” Andreessen Horowitz partner Jorge Conde said. “That’s where we are and aim to be in terms of where we invest.”

Prior to launching its first health and biology fund in 2015, the firm’s cofounder Marc Andreessen reportedly claimed it would never invest in health care. Biotech veterans and experts have criticized these recent moves into their space.

Andreessen Horowitz’s first Biofund, launched in 2015, directed $200 million to health software companies, such as Ciitizen, a digital medical records platform, and PatientPing, a health care coordination technology start-up. In 2017, Biofund II moved into drug development and disease detection, backing BioAge Labs, a longevity therapeutics start-up, and Freenome, a cancer detection company.

Sources: STAT, February 4, 2020; STAT, January 12, 2020.