Lauren Brueggen, Suzanne Fletcher, Nancy Pfund and Ines Verschueren take part in new deals
From our Women's PE Briefs - week commencing August 23, 2021
Heritage Group’s Lauren Brueggen provides $20M of growth equity to Equum Medical
Heritage Group’s Lauren Brueggen dials into a provider of acute care telehealth and teleICU solutions – an investment that Lauren tells Women’s PE Briefs emerged from the issues that Heritage’s health system limited partners were facing. Heritage provided $20 million of growth equity to Equum Medical.
New York-based Equum features an experienced team of clinicians with advanced, data-driven change management methodologies to provide telehealth services in a flexible, cost-effective manner. By delivering a variety of acute care telehealth services, hospitals and health systems are able to access scarce clinical resources when and where they need them. Equum helps fill ICU intensivist coverage gaps, eases emergency department capacity constraints, enhances transfer center dynamics and reduces leakage by adding physician engagement to the process, and improves the lifestyle of on-site clinicians. It will use the capital to enhance its service model and broaden the reach of its experienced team of clinicians.
Heritage’s limited partners include 15 of the country’s hospital systems, nine large payers and a series of other health care organizations. As such, the firm seeks to “work closely with our LPs to understand their strategic priorities and pain points, which inform where we invest thematically,” Lauren said. Heritage, she said, has “consistently heard from our health system LPs that they are struggling to solve physician shortage issues, particularly in the ICU. COVID has certainly exacerbated these issues and has increased their willingness to solve these physician shortages through telemedicine support.” Lauren said the firm spent “the better part of a year” looking for the right investment opportunity within acute telehealth. The firm, she said, believes that Equum provides “a true partnership approach to teleICU programs; they seek to understand the unique pain points of each hospital and tailor a program to meet those needs, in turn, boosting ROI.” The hope with Equum is that it will become “the leading acute multispecialty telemedicine provider in the country, expanding our hospital partnerships across such specialties as neurology, psych, nephrology, pediatrics, cardiology, pulmonology and more,” Lauren said. Equum, she added, will also seek to help support hospital systems in other business lines including remote patient monitoring and hospital-to-home programs.
Lauren, a partner with Heritage, had a portfolio company, Sharecare, Inc., go public earlier this year through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company. A health care-focused investment firm, Heritage closed its third fund at $300 million earlier this year.
Suzanne Fletcher guides Prime Movers Lab into Diamond Age’s $8M seed round
Prime Movers Lab’s Suzanne Fletcher hammers capital into a company automating new home construction for the planned community market using 3-D printing and robotics. Prime Movers Lab and Alpaca Ventures led Diamond Age’s $8 million seed round.
Diamond Age will use the capital to scale its technology to produce a 3-bed, 2-bath demonstration home. In a blog post, Suzanne said she was attracted to Diamond Age because it is addressing the three things that are key to home construction: speed, quality and price. She said that what got the firm “most excited” about Diamond Age “was seeing how they shifted this paradigm through technology and design.” She added that the Diamond Age single-family home “is what the market wants – affordable, streamlined. This unlocks homeownership for so many, which in turns creates strong communities and families. This is the democratization of technology at its best.”
Earlier this year, Suzanne led Prime Movers into FORT Robotics, which is creating safety-and-security solutions for autonomous machines. A general partner, Suzanne joined Prime Movers in 2019 after leaving her role overseeing the Stanford-StartX Fund. Prime Movers, which is focused on backing breakthrough scientific start-ups, closed its second fund earlier this year at $425 million.
DBL Partners’ Nancy Pfund backs Wynd Technologies
DBL Partners’ Nancy Pfund backs a maker of AI-powered indoor air monitoring and purification technologies – a company that made Time Magazine’s annual best invention list. DBL and Greensoil PropTech co-led Wynd Technologies, Inc.’s $10 million Series A round.
Based in Redwood, Calif., Wynd will use the capital to grow its enterprise-grade air quality management solutions. Wynd’s technology detects, predicts and remediates air quality issues with proprietary sensors, software and analytics. Its technology can be integrated with major HVAC systems and other products offering air purification solutions. Wynd has to date sold more than 45,000 air quality monitors and solutions.
In a statement, Nancy said that “for years, DBL Partners has been searching for a game-changing air quality monitoring, filtration and purification company. Wynd is that company. As the world grapples with pandemics and the health effects of the climate crisis, old-fashioned fans and vanilla purifiers are not enough. Wynd’s powerful, economical air purification and monitoring technology gives users what they want, when they need it and it takes the guesswork out of making sure they’re breathing healthy air. As a result, DBL Partners views Wynd as a key ally in the movement for climate justice.”
In conjunction with the financing, Nancy joined Wynd’s board. Earlier this year, one of Nancy’s portfolio companies, Ecologic Brands, Inc., was acquired by Jabil, Inc. Julie Corbett founded and led Ecologic. Nancy also currently sponsors or sits on the boards such companies as Farmers Business Network, Bellwether Coffee, The Muse, Off-Grid Electric and Primus Power. Nancy has spoken at the Women’s Private Equity Summit, the Women’s Alternative Investment Summit and the Leadership Unbound Summit. DBL focuses on backing companies that are both financially successful and have a significant positive impact.
Cheryl Strom and Caitlin McGrath are involved in Riverside’s 12th add-on acquisition for its CertaSite platform
The Riverside Company’s Cheryl Strom and Caitlin McGrath are involved in the firm’s 12th add-on acquisition for its fire and life safety platform CertaSite. Terms of Riverside’s investment in Premier Electronics were not disclosed.
Premier provides fire and life safety system inspections, repairs, maintenance and installations for retrofits and new construction. Cheryl, who is principal of origination, sourced the deal.
Also in 2021, Cheryl has sourced add-on deals for the firm’s Modern Campus, Logically and Omnigo Software platforms as well as its investments in ToolWatch and Radiant Plumbing & Air Conditioning, which Sarah Casebier co-owned and leads.
Caitlin, an analyst, was also involved this year in another add-on for CertaSite, Marine Fire Sales & Service, Inc., as well as add-ons for its InVita Healthcare Technologies and Logically platforms.
Cheryl Strom sources an add-on acquisition for Performance Systems Integration
Cheryl Strom also sourced an add-on acquisition for Riverside’s fire and life safety platform, Performance Systems Integration – a deal that analyst Aarathi Sahadevan was also involved with. Riverside said it purchased the fire protection division of R&T Hood and Duct Services, Inc. Terms were not disclosed.
Based in Seattle, R&T Hood provides repeating fire and life safety testing, inspection, repair and maintenance services, as well as installation services for new construction and retrofits to customers across various industries.
Portland, Ore.-based PSI provides customers in the Pacific Northwest with fire and life safety services including system inspection, service and monitoring, equipment sales and cylinder repairs as well as installations for new construction and retrofits.
R&T Hood is PSI’s fifth add-on deal under Riverside ownership.
Jean Roberts directs Kohlberg & Company’s purchase of Myers EPS
Kohlberg & Company’s Jean Roberts directs the firm’s purchase of a designer and manufacturer of emergency lighting backup power technology. Terms of Kohlberg’s acquisition of Myers EPS from Graham Partners were not disclosed.
Based in Bethlehem, Penn., Myers provides integrated technology solutions mandated by building and construction safety codes to mission critical industries such as data centers, government buildings, distribution warehouses and health care centers. Myers EPS’ products include centralized and mini-inverters, which supply power to critical end markets during an outage. It has approximately 160 employees.
In a statement, Jean said Myers EPS “has established itself as the leading platform for backup power solutions in the emergency lighting industry” and that the company “is well positioned to accelerate its growth trajectory.” Jean went on to say that Kohlberg looks forward to supporting the Myers EPS team “in the execution of their strategic plan.”
Jean a partner, is on the boards of K2-MDV, Nelipak and Senneca. She is a past speaker at the Women’s Alternative Investment Summit. Kohlberg earlier this year closed its ninth fund at $3.4 billion.
Jennifer Li leads Andreessen Horowitz into Stacker’s $20M Series A round
Andreessen Horowitz’s Jennifer Li backs a London-based company that helps business units build software without coding. According to TechCrunch, Stacker raised $20 million in a Series A funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from existing investors Initialized Capital, Y Combinator and Pentech.
Stacker’s goal is to give every organization the ability to create software for itself, without writing a line of code. In a blog post, Jennifer said, “we’ve been watching the no-code space for a while, and Stacker stands apart from the rest because of its thoughtful product approach, allowing business operators to instantly generate a functional app that perfectly fits existing business processes. We’re thrilled to be partnering with Stacker on their mission to create the future of software.”
Caroline Shettle participates in Riverside’s acquisition of Corporate Visions
Caroline Shettle, a vice president with The Riverside Company, participates in the firm’s acquisition of a provider of science-based sales, marketing and customer success training solutions. Terms of Riverside’s purchase of Corporate Visions from Sentinel Capital Partners were not disclosed.
Based in Reno, Nev., Corporate Visions offers research-backed training solutions rooted in decision science to support complex B2B sales. Caroline has been with Riverside since 2015.
Greyhound Capital’s Ines Verschueren takes part in DriveWealth’s $450M Series D round
Greyhound Capital’s Ines Verschueren takes part in a sizable financing for a fractional traded and embedded finance company. Greyhound took part in DriveWealth, LLC’s $450 million Series D round along with Insight Partners, Accel, SoftBank Vision Fund, Base10, FTX, FlightDeck and returning investors Point72 Ventures and Fidelity International. The round valued the Chatham, N.J. company at $2.85 billion.
DriveWealth will use the capital for continued product and service expansion, talent acquisition and technology innovation. The funding will also be used to launch self-clearing and accelerate execution via strategic acquisitions and partnerships. DriveWealth’s mission is to democratize investing globally by working with partners to invent new ways to use its API-based technology to provide emerging investors with cutting-edge embedded experiences, often first-time access to U.S. markets, and the ability to begin investing with as little as $1.
In a statement, Ines said, “like DriveWealth, we believe that the future of investing is mobile, transactional and fractional, and that the retail revolution, coupled with ever increasing advances in digital wallet technology, will transform the investing landscape and financial services over the next decade. We are excited to partner with the team and support their mission to democratize investing globally.”
Greyhound is a global growth equity investment firm focused on technology-enabled businesses that improve people’s everyday lives.
Lightspeed Venture Partners’ Ling Wong and Define Ventures’ Lynne Chou O’Keefe seed Soda Health
Lightspeed Venture Partners’ Ling Wong and Define Ventures’ Lynne Chou O’Keefe seed a company aiming to better align and personalize supplemental benefits with an individual’s health status and outcomes. Lightspeed and Define co-led Soda Health’s $6 million round that also included Qiming Venture Partners USA.
Based in Bentonville, Ark., Soda Health will provide health plans and consumers the foundational technology needed to bridge the gap between medical claims and retail payments. The company is specifically addressing longstanding challenges to provide reimbursement for goods and services critical to achieving and maintaining good health, but which are not supported by traditional medical claims. In many cases, an individual’s lack of financial resources becomes an obstacle to accessing these benefits. In its creation of health care centric payments and related solutions, Soda Health will ensure consumers have easier access to their benefits. At the same time, health plans will have a technology platform which can more cost-effectively administer benefits.
In a statement, Ling said that the Soda Health team has “the passion, experience and insights to deliver on their mission to improve health care.” Also in a statement, Lynne said that “sustained engagement is critical to identifying and eliminating health inequities” and that Define “is confident in Soda Health’s approach to reduce customer friction, increase utilization and engagement and ultimately define health care.”
Ling, a senior advisor, led Lightspeed earlier this year into Wheel, a digital health company whose founder and CEO is Michelle Davey.
Also this year, Lynne backed Intrinsic, which is acquiring Amazon-centric health and wellness brands, and DexCare, Inc., which has developed an intelligent digital care operating system that manages health system capacity and demand across all lines of care. Define closed its second fund at $200 million. Lynne, who founded Define, will speak at the upcoming Women’s Private Equity Summit.
Lan Xuezhao’s Basis Set Ventures takes part in Rutter’s $1.5M round
Basis Set Ventures, which was founded by Lan Xuezhao, zooms into a company that she describes as “the central nervous system of online commerce.” According to TechCrunch, Basis Set took part in Rutter’s $1.5 million round which also included Haystack and Liquid 2.
Rutter is developing a unified e-commerce API that enables companies to connect with data across any platform. Users are able to connect to any e-commerce platform, including Walmart and Amazon. Lan told TechCrunch that “it’s clear that what (Rutter has) built is powerful: it’s the central nervous system of online commerce.”
Basis Set earlier this year closed its second fund at $165 million. Its investments this year include Allocate, which was co-founded by Hana Yang and is aimed at enabling investors of all sizes to invest in venture capital funds.
Craft Ventures’ Arra Malekzadeh leads Moesif’s $12M Series A funding round
Craft Ventures’ Arra Malekzadeh backs a provider of insights on API usage. According to TechCrunch, Moesif secured a $12 million Series A funding round led by Craft, along with existing investor Merus Capital. In conjunction with the financing, Arra joined the company’s board.
San Francisco-based Moesif provides self-service analytics that can be accessed daily and features to scale analytics in a more cost-effective manner. Customers use it to monitor features to better understand when there are issues with the API, with additional capabilities to understand who is using the API, how often and who may be likely to stop using a product based on how they are using it.
Craft Ventures is an early-stage venture fund.