- Charles River Ventures is formally launching its "bioengineering" practice and a new investor.
Now, it's the latest technology firm to get serious about health care.
On Friday, it formerly announced its new bioengineering practice and a new investor: Dylan Morris, who joined the fund from Eric Schmidt-backed Innovation Endeavors. Prior to that, Morris co-founded a medical device company called Integrated Plasmonics.
CRV isn't the first venture firm to explore this space. Andreessen Horowitz also has a bio fund, led by health-technologist Vijay Pande, and Founders Fund, GV, Khosla Ventures, Menlo Ventures, among others, are stepping up their investments in health-tech. Some firms have hired practicing doctors and other medical experts to help guide their investment decisions.
For CRV, it all started when general partner, George Zachary, had a cancer scare. Zachary, who shared his story with CNBC, ultimately made the decision to focus on companies at the intersection of technology and health, after learning that he had a rare, benign tumor. "My experience as a patient was insane," he said. "I couldn't believe how screwed up the health system was."
The fund will have locations in both Boston and Palo Alto.
Via a Medium blog post, describing the bioengineering focus:
Recent advancements in AI, machine learning and big data are opening up entirely new ways to improve and redesign biologics; from synthetics to human health, diagnostics and therapeutics to ecological applications. We're interested in efforts to cure diseases & the application of new technologies to prevent the onset of disease, so that people can live longer, healthier lives.