Adam Putz December 05, 2016
(Update 12/11: Former GV CEO Bill Maris has abandoned previously reported plans for a new $230 million healthcare-focused VC fund, according to Recode, deciding instead to pursue "some other ideas that may be more fun and impactful." GV completed some 40 investments in the healthcare sector under Maris' leadership.)
Former GV CEO Bill Maris is raising a healthcare-focused VC fund targeting $230 million, according to sources cited by Recode. Maris is reported to have already tapped a small but undisclosed set of investors to commit capital to the fund. Under his leadership, GV completed some 40 investments in healthcare, even backing controversial biotechs like 23andMe. That said, GV did pass on Theranos in 2013.
Of Theranos, Maris told Business Insider in 2015 that “there was so much hand-waving — like, Look over here! — that we couldn't figure it out. So, we just had someone from our life-science investment team go into Walgreens and take the test. And it wasn't that difficult for anyone to determine that things may not be what they seem here.”
Maris will likely bring that sort of rigor to bear on his new venture, supporting those companies that are both open about the tech they deploy and governed by boardrooms with the expertise required to understand its potential as well as its problems.
Although Maris looks to run the new fund out of San Diego rather than Silicon Valley and reportedly without much notable help, it could hardly be in more capable hands. GV completed over 500 investments with Maris at the helm, including early bets on Uber at just a $3.7 billion valuation, according to the PitchBook Platform. His tenure at GV helped to spearhead an industry-wide increase in CVC activity since the beginning of 2010, even as CVCs have generally been slow to take the lead on deals.
Maris’s new healthcare fund is called Section 32 in an apparent allusion to Section 31 of “Star Trek,” an autonomous security operation.