European healthtech startups have a new investor at play, Crista Galli Ventures (CGV), an evergreen fund founded by a former NHS doctor. Dr. Fiona Pathiraja, a consultant radiologist, will lead the fund as it invests $65 million in early-stage companies.
Specifically, investments will go to deep tech, digital health and personalised medicine in seed and Series A rounds. “The fund will not invest in biotechnology or drug discovery, and will also steer away from devices, especially when they are non-software enabled,” states a press release.
From offices in London and Copenhagen, the firm invests across Europe and in fact has already backed 15 companies in seven countries, including Skin Analytics, Contextflow and Quibim.
CGV aims to be “the patient and empathetic investor so needed in the healthtech sector.” Because the market is tightly regulated and the problems so complex, return on investments don’t usually fit the traditional VC fundraising cycle; it might take longer than five years.
Since the fund has one single investor, the Danish family office IPQ Capital, CGV says it has more flexibility than other VCs and can better support healthtech startups.
The firm is also kicking off Crista Galli LABS, a separate investing strand that will target pre-seed startups, half of which with underrepresented founders. The goal here, in addition to supporting earlier stage teams that show great promise, is to redress the diversity imbalance in later-stage healthtech.
“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. “Healthcare solutions need to work for patients from all walks of life, so it’s important to encourage a greater diversity of thought during the inception and funding of these products.”
Photo: CGV founder Dr. Fiona Pathiraja and IPQ Capital's Soren Moller