AO Invest, an investment fund based in Davos, Switzerland, wants to support medical startups with more than just capital, but with clinical research specialists and medical education experts.
Their investment criteria? That the startup be involved in innovative technologies that will disrupt healthcare. Their target industries range from simulations and robotics to 3D printing and haptic models to surgical methods – essentially any service “that will have significant impact in the fields of orthopedic and trauma surgery,” their website reads.
Their team is comprised of two investment managers, Dominik Mayer, whose background is in business administration, and Jörn Sievers, who is managing partner at Total Twelve GmbH and a managing director, Craig Cooper, who is also director of AO Technology. The three men are then supported by the board of directors, which is made up of six men: Some are which are surgeons, others are entrepreneurs and one is even a molecular biologist.
AO Invest, which is supported by the AO Foundation, a nonprofit organization led by surgeons, boasts a network of over 16,000 scientists and healthcare professionals. This means startups they invest in would not only have access to medical insights, but also the reputation and expertise of established specialists.
The fund joins a number of other VCs and entrepreneurs interested in medical innovation and digital health in Europe.
But the trend really kicked off when PayPal’s Peter Thiel set out on a quest for eternal life in 2015. Through his nonprofit, Breakout Labs, Thiel helps early-stage companies and scientists look into ways technology can extend human life.
In 2016 alone, two German VC’s announced health-related funds. In June 2016, Apollo Ventures, a Hamburg-based VC, was launched with a focus on anti-aging research.
And Earlybird, a Berlin-based VC, also announced a Health Tech Fund in April 2016.
There is currently no information available on how much money AO Invest has in their fund or how much they plan to give startups. It is also unclear what stage startups they are interested in or whether they have made any investments yet.