Fund Fact Sheet
Size and horizon: We launched the Digital Medicine strategy in Q1 and have already made several investments. Typical funds in this sector raise into the triple digits.
Focus: We are interested in companies that harness data and computational methods to innovate healthcare solutions. Our focus spans three core areas:
-Enabling Technologies (before the patient): the “picks and shovels” that enable AI development and/or adoption in health sciences
-Analytics (understanding the patient): approaches that seek to diagnose patients earlier, provide preventive care, define responder/non-responder profiles, provide personalized care and monitoring to reduce the delay in feedback loops to improve outcomes
-Treatments (impacting the patient): approaches that modify patient behavior to ultimately improve outcomes and treatment responsiveness.
Geography: predominantly focus on Europe, our reach extends globally.
Maturity/stage: Seed and Series A.
Ticket size: Our initial ticket size ranges from ~€1 to ~€8 million, with a strong capability to re-invest.
Potential lead: Yes, we typically lead or co-lead.
Follow on: Yes, substantial reserves are allocated for follow-on investments in all Sofinnova strategies.
How would you describe your VC and your investment thesis/guiding principles in one sentence?
Sofinnova Partners is a premier European VC firm, championing entrepreneurs who disrupt the status quo and push the frontiers of innovation in life sciences.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself, the key partners/experts in the team?
My colleague, Edward Kliphuis, and I joined Sofinnova to spearhead the firm’s first Digital Medicine strategy. This strategy is dedicated to companies at the intersection of data and computation applied to medicine. It’s the first of its kind in Europe and builds on Sofinnova’s 50-year track record in life sciences. Ed and I both come from scientific backgrounds and spent over a decade as investors and advisors in this domain, since the early days when it was still called e-health. A lot has changed since then, and there is now a greater awareness and deeper understanding of the possibility of tackling challenges like ageing populations, rising rates of chronic disease, and spiraling healthcare costs using advanced digital technologies such as AI, machine learning, and big data analytics. Our goal is to unlock that potential. Like all Sofinnova partners, Ed and I are hands-on investors and work closely with the companies we back to offer more than financial support. We are also very European: Ed is Dutch, based in Madrid, and I hold Swedish and British citizenship, grew up in Germany and France, and currently reside in Paris.
Can you tell us about the fund’s history?
Sofinnova was established in 1972, the same year as Kleiner Perkins and Sequoia. Over the last 50 years, we’ve backed more than 500 companies and currently manage more than €2.5 billion. Our expertise lies in healthcare and sustainability, with a focus on biotech, biopharma, medtech, industrial biotech, and now Digital Medicine. Our diverse team, representing 20 nationalities and speaking 16 languages, is predominantly composed of scientists and medical doctors. We are headquartered in Paris, with offices in London and Milan.
Why do you think now is the right moment to launch this fund?
Digital Medicine is reaching maturity from both supply and demand perspectives. Rising healthcare costs, aging populations, increasing chronic diseases, and overburdened healthcare systems underscore a growing need. Concurrently, technology and data availability enable us to deliver unprecedented, efficient, and high-quality care. Sofinnova’s extensive experience in life sciences positions us to optimally support our portfolio companies, spearheading the Digital Medicine revolution in healthcare.
What is your unfair advantage? What do you bring besides money?
Built on the Sofinnova platform, we offer a global healthcare network for information and stakeholder access, and unique strategic insights to help our portfolio companies scale and become global frontrunners. The intersection of health technologies and tech in Digital Medicine provides a unique perspective and expertise to benefit our portfolio companies.
What do you look for in entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurs with ambition and vision, a desire to change the status quo, and who are capable of building strong teams. We look for robust teams that have an edge, with whom we can work as partners over the long term to make their success global. In addition, we look at:
-A competitive edge that differentiates the team/technology meaningfully
-Evidence their solution will impact healthcare (directly or indirectly)
-Solutions that can scale and grow from a core development
Can you give a few examples of startups you previously invested in and why?
–Kiro (France) is revolutionizing lab results with AI insights. It is the first AI-powered digital health platform that makes lab test results more relevant to doctors and comprehensible to patients. Following a €13.8m Series-A round led by Sofinnova, Kiro now combines AI with clinical biology. By simplifying everyday lab tests and tracking the interplay between different biomarkers over time, it enables more straightforward interpretation of results. The application of this technology leads to earlier disease detection, precise treatment, improved patient outcomes, and significant cost reductions for healthcare systems.
–BioCorteX (UK) is the SpaceX for the microbiome. The “techbio” company is working on the most comprehensive simulation of the complex relationship between microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi) and their host organism. By understanding these interactions in health and disease, as well as the impact of treatments, BioCorteX predicts patient treatment outcomes and recommends the most effective treatments across various diseases. After a USD 5m seed round co-led by Sofinnova and Hoxton Ventures, BioCorteX applies advanced computational techniques to decipher the complexity of our microbial companions. By merging technology and biology, BioCorteX addresses previously insurmountable complexities to help patients respond better to treatments. Their tech-platform, Carbon Mirror, combines cutting-edge computational methods with physics and chemistry to simulate the intricate human-microbiome interaction. Their competitive advantage lies in their cross-functional team of clinicians, engineers, and microbiome scientists.
–Deepc (Germany) is the Appstore for radiologists. This Digital Medicine pioneer is commercializing an operating system (deepcOS) to help radiologists adopt novel AI technologies seamlessly. deepcOS serves as an “app store for radiology,” integrating smoothly with existing workflows and providing radiologists easy access to 3rd party AI applications that meet all their clinical needs. A €12m Series-A round, led by Sofinnova and with participation from Bertelsmann Investment, has allowed deepc to enhance workflow, time to results, and diagnostic accuracy in AI Radiology, benefiting both healthcare practitioners and patients.
What is the best way for founders to approach you and what will convince you to have a first meeting?
We encourage founders who take a problem-solution approach and can clearly express how they plan to revolutionize their sector to reach out to us. We value openness, audacity, and transparency, and we are always eager to learn about how entrepreneurs aim to reshape the landscape of Digital Medicine. We are quite approachable and can be reached through our website, social media channels, or email.
What is one advice you would give deep tech founders?
Don’t underestimate the importance of building an A-class team.
What do you think will be the next big thing in deep tech?
The far-reaching impacts of commoditized AI development. Where this will ultimately lead us remains to be seen, but with our healthcare focus, we are carefully assessing what will help in its adoption and implementation in the healthcare space where a “move fast and break things” approach isn’t acceptable given we are dealing with people.
What current trend(s) are you seeing in the deep tech investment landscape?
With regards to Digital Medicine, we’re seeing the erosion of boundaries between health and technology, with increasingly agnostic solutions entering the Digital Medicine space. Sofinnova, particularly through Digital Medicine, plays a pivotal role in driving the adoption and implementation of such technologies in health sciences, where we can put our deep industry expertise to work.