WA mining billionaire Andrew Forrest has turned his investment focus to the health technology sector with a new $250 million venture capital fund.
The VC, Tenmil, is backed by private investment firm Tatarang, the founder of Fortescue Metal Group.
TenMille will target startups focused on unmet medical needs that support sustainable and equitable healthcare, providing seed and expansion capital.
Headquartered in Perth, with team members in Sydney and San Francisco, it will have a global perspective, and is an early partner with San Francisco-based RockHealth and an investor in its new digital health fund.
Two previous investments made by Dr. Forrest in Tatarang and its philanthropic arm, the Mindoro Foundation, have entered Tenmill’s portfolio.
The VC’s first round of funding went to ASX-listed psychiatric drugs medtech Emyria, announcing $5 million from Tatarang last November.
The Mindoro Foundation’s $5.4 million fundraising for cancer biotech startup Carina Biotech was announced last September. The Adelaide-based biotech is using the cash injection to research and develop chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapies that could provide new approaches to treating solid cancers.
Dr. Forrest was different from other local VC funds, because it focused exclusively on health technology and could move quickly without obligations to investors and lenders.
“Our laser-focused approach means we can help early-stage companies, researchers and entrepreneurs when they need it most, with seed funding and follow-on support not available through government or public sector funding,” he said.
“Tenmile will help Australian researchers and Australian companies deliver life-changing products and treatments in a way this country has never seen before with our extensive expertise, global networks and dedicated capital.”
Nicola Forrest, owner and co-chairman of Tatarang, said the fund has a deep commitment to ethical and sustainable health treatments and technology.
“Tenmill is another demonstration of our focus on using capital for good and we implement Tatarang’s responsible investment framework, including supporting women-founded and led health businesses,” she said.
Health technology veteran Dr. Steve Burnell has been named CEO of Tenmill.
Although Tenmill is focused on opportunities in Australia and building the broader health science commercialization ecosystem here, we will continue to help our Australian investors achieve returns and access international markets and capital. .
“Health technology for us encompasses a variety of areas such as medical devices, diagnostics, biotech, pharmaceuticals and healthcare services. We are particularly excited about the opportunities in immunology, oncology, digital health, microbiome and microbial resistance.