Wood helps Endeavour Vision and Kieffer helps Loft Growth Partners close new funds while Kranjac’s Dynamk Capital closes its debut fund

From our Women's PE Briefs - week commencing April 26, 2021

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Wood helps Endeavour Vision raise a fund that Gaugler and Consten will be involved in deploying

Endeavour Vision, whose investor relations activities are led by Silke Wood, closes a new fund – a fund that Meret Gaugler and Victoire Consten will be involved in deploying. Endeavour closed its second medtech growth fund at $375 million.

Like with its first medtech growth fund, the Swiss firm will seek to back growth-stage medtech and digital health companies that advance the standard of care and bring efficiencies to health care systems. The fund has already backed seven companies: IntelyCare, CeQur, Rapid Micro Biosystems, SOPHiA GENETICS, Nalu Medical, Lumeon and Relievant Medsystems.

Silke joined Endeavour last year from Tikehau Capital, where she served as head of sales for the United Kingdom and Nordics and global head of consultants.

Meret, who is Endeavour’s head of investment strategy, and also joined in 2020, took part in backing CeQur and SOPHiA GENETICS. Meret helps shape both the near and long-term direction of the Endeavour’s investments.

Victoire, an investment manager, joined Endeavour in 2020 as well from Smith + Nephew where she was a corporate development manager.

Xuezhao, Vashee and Xu help Basis Set Ventures raise a $165M fund

Basis Set Ventures, whose team includes founder Lan Xuezhao and partners Sheila Vashee and Chang Xu, raises its second fund. Focused on the future of work through artificial intelligence, Basis Set closed on $165 million. Its first fund was $140 million.

Lan, who is Basis Set’s managing partner, previously built and led the corporate development strategy team at Dropbox. She founded Basis Set in 2017. Sheila joined Basis Set last year after being vice president of growth at Opendoor. Chang joined in 2019 after being a principal at Upfront Ventures. Basis Set’s team also includes chief technology officer Niniane Wang and data scientist Rachel Wong.

Earlier this year, a company that Lan backed, Ike, was purchased by Nuro, a well-funded autonomous delivery company. Basis Set’s investments in 2020 included Snappr, a photographer and visual content marketplace; Abacus.AI, an AI research and cloud services company co-founded and led by Bindu Reddy; and Workstream Technologies, Inc., a hiring platform.

Ozawa among those who will lead investments for Versant Ventures’ three new funds

Versant VenturesClaire Ozawa is one of five managing directors who will lead investments for the health care-focused venture firm’s three new funds. Versant raised a total of $950 million.

The firm’s primary global fund closed on $560 million and will focus on creating 20 biotech startups. It also raised a $140 million companion fund to co-invest with its flagship fund in a select number of promising Series A portfolio companies and a $250 million opportunity fund for later-stage rounds. Versant now has $4.2 billion under management and offices in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Claire is on the boards of 858 Therapeutics, Pipeline Therapeutics and Oyster Point Pharmaceuticals, which went public in 2019.

Versant’s investment team also includes Rachel Lane, who joined the firm last year from Calico Life Sciences where she was director of business development. She is an observer on the board of Coda Biotherapeutics.

Consumer Products Growth Partners raises a new fund, takes on a new name and adds to its team 

Consumer Products Growth Partners, which is co-led by Sharon Kieffer, raises a new fund, takes on a new name, adds Liz Myslik to its team and names three women as industry venture partners. Now known as Loft Growth Partners, the Chicago-based firm closed its third fund at $60 million, brought Liz aboard as its third partner and named Betsy McGinn, Corinne Shindelar and Robin Vogel as venture partners.

Liz was most recently a partner and chief growth officer with Fresca Foods, a manufacturing partner in the natural products industry. Betsy is the co-author of “The Amazon Roadmap: How Innovative Brands are Reinventing the Path to Market.” Corinne is the founding president of NCGA and former CEO of INFRA; and Robin is vice president of global strategic sourcing for Mars Wrigley.

Sharon and Andy Whitman are Loft’s managing partners. Its team also includes vice president Kim Anne Starke. Focused on making growth investments in emerging consumer products businesses, the firm said it took on the new name to better reflect its purpose: elevating partner brands to new heights. Loft focuses on food, beverage, personal care, vitamins and supplements, home care and pet care categories. It now has raised approximately $200 million during its 20 years of existence.

Kranjac’s Dynamk Capital closes its debut fund

Dynamk Capital, LLC, which was co-founded by Daniella Kranjac, closes its debut fund after more than three years of effort, with Daniella telling Women’s PE Briefs that “as a first-time fund manager, it’s a long time coming and so proud to have built the foundation for a great future.” The New York venture firm is not saying specifically how much it raised but it now has $65 million in assets under management.

Dynamk provides early-stage and growth capital to life science industrials companies. The fund will focus on backing companies developing tools, technologies and services that are critical to biopharma companies’ discovery, development and manufacturing needs.

Daniella said the firm held an initial fund close in October 2017 and powered through during the pandemic. “While the events of the past year certainly reduced our ability to meet new investors face to face and put a pause in fundraising, at the same time, we had a unique opportunity where life science was at the forefront of everyone’s minds in terms of vaccine and therapeutic development, manufacturing and distribution challenges. As a result, we had the opportunity to develop new relationships virtually and to deepen existing relationships with our extraordinary investor base. Our funding strategy evolved with the new norm, as did our deployment strategy to accommodate a different way of working.”

Daniella said she expects the fund to have a total of 10 to 12 companies. “Having been in life science industrials for my entire career, I’m so excited about what closing this fund means to the many technical founders in the field – to be able to help them realize their goals is an incredible feeling,” she said.

Daniella founded Dynamk with her brother, Mario Kranjac. The firm’s team includes venture associate Jessica Davis. Dynamk Capital emerged from Dynamk Consulting, LLC, which Daniella founded to provide insights to life sciences and biopharma businesses.

The firm’s investments include Curi Bio, Inc., a developer of human stem cell-based platforms for drug discovery; Lucid Scientific, a biotech tools company; CellFE, whose co-founder and CEO is Alla Zamarayeva and which is developing a microfluidics-based device to deliver gene-editing molecules; RoosterBio, Inc., which is led by Margot Connor and is simplifying and standardizing how stem cells are purchased, expanded and used in development; and Envisagenics, Inc., a drug discovery company whose co-founder and CEO is Maria Luisa Pineda. One of its portfolio companies, FloDesign Sonics, was acquired in the fall of 2019 by MilliporeSigma, a unit of Merck KGaA.

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