In today’s world, technology has become deeply intertwined with the medical industry. As healthcare solutions have to work for patients from all walks of life, it is essential to encourage the use of new products and technologies. In an attempt to help healthtech companies come up with such solutions, Dr. Fiona Pathiraja has launched Crista Galli Ventures, a unique venture capital fund that intends to revolutionise healthtech investing in Europe.
Early-stage healthtech fund
The former NHS radiologist, Dr. Pathiraja claims that healthtech investing is quite different from traditional VC investing, which forces companies to meet unrealistic timelines; that could spell bad news for patients. Understanding the significance of empathy in healthtech, Dr. Pathiraja and the team behind Crista Galli Ventures focuses on it.
The early-stage healthtech fund offers patient capital, along with healthcare expertise. It claims to partner with early-stage founders at Series A and Seed stage to come up with world-leading companies. The healthtech fund has customised its strategy to the requirements of aspirational entrepreneurs in the industry. It will invest in healthcare solutions that focus on deep tech, digital health and personalised medicine. And, CGV will not invest in drug discovery or biotechnology and will also steer away from devices, especially when they are non-software enabled.
Furthermore, CGV has also launched Crista Galli LABS, which intends to bring greater diversity in the industry by supporting founders from underrepresented backgrounds in their initial stages. Crista Galli Ventures operates with offices in London and Copenhagen. The firm has already invested in 15 companies such as ContextFlow, Skin Analytics, and Quibim.
As Founder Dr. Pathiraja explains, “In the medical industry, tech was once seen as the poor cousin of research and medical education. But that’s changing. Case-in-point, the Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine both now report on digital innovations. The sector is coming to recognise the critical role that healthtech can play. Now is the perfect time to build the solutions that will shape the healthcare industry for decades to come.”
How’s it unique?
Dr. Pathiraja believes that Traditional VC fundraising cycles don’t typically work for healthtech startups faced with a complex and highly-regulated market. “Young companies are often expected to adhere to timelines that don’t acknowledge the realities of building a company in the healthcare industry. Crista Galli Ventures provides a better solution – the ability to make agile decisions, while thinking long term.”
Talking about traditional VCs, they need to return money to their investors and can begin to realise the investments only after five years following which they get returns. However, the healthcare industry works differently. It might take longer to arrive but will be successful in the end. It is important for healthtech investors to be empathetic and patient.
According to Crista Galli Ventures, unlike typical VC firms, it’s structure lends itself to this. As a single investor fund, the firm has the opportunity to grow internally without the need to fundraise.
It claims to be free from the usual five-year fund cycles, thereby allowing it to be flexible and focus on a longer time horizon – benefiting patients, companies and investors.
Crista Galli LABS: An insight!
Crista Galli LABS is a standalone investing strand, which lets CGV to invest in pre-seed startups. Besides the investment, these companies will have access to coaching and mentoring from the CGV team. At least 50% startups that receive Calli Galli LABS investment will be led by exceptional founders and help them secure later-stage funding, claims the firm.
“As a healthtech investor, we noticed a stark lack of diversity on both sides of the investor/founder table. The overwhelming need for an elite education in deep tech (MD or PhD) means that those from more diverse backgrounds are often excluded,” explains Dr. Pathiraja.
Main image picture credits: Crista Galli Ventures