Wednesday, November 18, 2015

"Andreessen Horowitz Launches $200M Bio-Computer Fund, Hires Ex-Stanford Prof"

From Venture Capital Dispatch:
Andreessen Horowitz raised a $200 million fund to invest in startups that combine life science and computer science and has hired a new general partner, former Stanford University professor Vijay Pande, to run it. 
The firm joins several other venture firms investing in the same area—Norwest Venture Partners, New Leaf Venture Partners, 5AM Ventures and dRx Capital, a joint venture investment company formed by Novartis AG and Qualcomm Inc. 
“We’ve been looking at this space for 18 to 24 months and got more and more convinced of the opportunity set, but also more convinced that to do this correctly we needed people with Vijay’s background [to] derisk the biology side,” said Managing Partner Scott Kupor. 
Dr. Pande has been a professor in residence at Andreessen Horowitz since last year, acting as a liaison between the firm and academia. He also held professorships in chemistry, structural biology and computer science at Stanford and was the director of Stanford’s biophysics program. 
But he said he’s giving up his teaching and administrative duties and plans to spend just a few hours a week at Stanford mentoring students and doing research. He said he has consulted with pharmaceutical companies, advised startups and co-founded a startup, Globavir Biosciences, and “am familiar with what it takes” to become an investor. 
“This is a space distinct from biotech; these are software companies in the biology space,” Dr. Pande said. “What excites me is the hope that software can transform health care and our world.”...MORE