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Alphabet's bets on health tech are paying off as portfolio companies go public

  • Alphabet's venture capital investment arm, GV, has invested in nearly 60 life sciences companies since its founding in 2009.
  • In the last year alone, the firm has seen five of its portfolio companies go public.
  • Its portfolio company 23andMe is expected to file before the end of the year.

As the first quarter comes to a close, three Bay Area life sciences companies have already gone public in 2018.

Google parent company Alphabet has had a stake in two of them.

The company's venture arm, GV (formerly known as Google Ventures), has backed nearly 60 healthcare-related companies since it raised its first fund in 2009, making it one of the most active Silicon Valley players in the space.

Those bets are starting to pay off: Five of GV's healthcare bets have gone public in the last year.

GV owned a large enough stake in four of them — 10 percent or more — to be required to report as an insider with the SEC.

The market value for the firm's combined ownership of those four companies is roughly $153 million, according to data from FactSet:

Here are the five companies, what they do, and when GV invested:

Spero Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company creating treatments for bacterial infections, started trading on the Nasdaq last fall and has a current market cap of $204.8 million.

GV led its Series C in March 2017 and its stake is now worth $15.79 million, according to FactSet.

Arsanis, which is working on antibody immunotherapies for infectious diseases, went public in November of last year and has a market cap of $327.2 million. GV invested in its Series D in April 2017 and its stake is worth $10.62 million, according to FactSet.

Arcus Bioscience, which develops cancer immunotherapies, went public in March and has a market cap of $657 million.

GV first invested in Arcus' Series B in 2016 and again in its Series C in 2017, and its stake is worth $80.9 million, according to FactSet.

ARMO Biosciences fights cancer through immunotherapy. It went public in January 2018 has a market cap of $1.1 billion. GV invested in its Series C as well as its Series C-1 in 2016 and 2017 respectively, and its stake is currently worth $45.14 million.

Denali Therapeutics creates therapies for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's and went public in December 2017 and currently has a market cap of $1.86 billion.

There's a good chance 2018 will bring more excitement: Nasdaq's head of healthcare listings recently predicted that biotech M&A will be hot this year and that we could see 30+ total biotech IPOs.

GV portfolio company 23andMe is expected to file before the end of the year.