Earlier this week, a brand-new VC firm called Define Ventures set up shop in California.
Now, this isn’t exactly earth-shattering news by itself. But there’s a few things about this particular fund that I find really interesting.
For starters, let’s talk about the people behind this new venture. Define’s founder and Managing Partner is none other than Lynne Chou O’Keefe, a former Kleiner Perkins legend with several major exits under her belt.
Take Livongo, for example. It’s a company that creates online platforms that help people with chronic conditions live better and healthier lives.
Livongo started out with an app to help people with diabetes manage their illness. Today, they’ve expanded to include offerings for hypertension, weight management, behavioral health, and more.
Kleiner Perkins, one of Silicon Valley’s most established venture capital firms, saw the value in Livongo’s business model back in 2015. Spearheaded by Lynne Chou O’Keefe, Kleiner Perkins led Livongo’s $20 million Series B round. At the time, the company was likely valued at around $60 million.
Four short years later, Livongo went public at a $2.5 billion valuation. You don’t need to be great at math to know that that’s an absolutely legendary return – somewhere in the 4,000% range.
What I’m trying to say here is that Lynne Chou O’Keefe is a pretty great VC to keep an eye on.
The other thing that caught my attention about this fund is its focus. Define Ventures will invest exclusively in digital health companies – think telemedicine, connected devices, and other integrated healthcare solutions.
Health tech is one of those sectors that just doesn’t get a lot of airtime in mainstream media. Maybe it’s because people hate talking about insurance and illness. Maybe it’s because pharmaceutical companies control the narrative with their deep pockets. Or maybe it’s just not as exciting to the everyday consumer as other hot-button industries, like AI or robotics.
But that doesn’t mean we should ignore health tech. In fact, I’d argue that over the long term, healthcare startups are going to be some of the most important companies of the next decade. After all, any company that can figure out a way to improve life for people is bound to make money. The market is built-in and the need for innovation is urgent.
Personally, I think Define Ventures is ahead of the curve with this one. There’s really no other firm like it – but there’s an abundance of health tech startups looking for funding.
The news came at an interesting moment for me, actually. On the same day Define Ventures announced that their fund had raised a whopping $87 million, I had just finished chatting with the founder of a startup that would probably fit right into Lynne’s portfolio.
This trailblazing company is combining 3D printing technology with cutting-edge robotics to create bespoke orthopedic implants for patients needing knee and hip replacements.
These custom-printed joint implants are more stable, efficient, and comfortable for patients. Preliminary research shows that they may drastically increase the number of people who need additional surgeries later on. And to be honest, once I heard this company’s pitch, my biggest question was: why haven’t we been doing it this way all along?
The answer is that the tech is exceptionally difficult to get right. There are surgical robots, sure; there are even 3D printed body parts out there. But today’s operating rooms have one or the other – or, most often, neither. That means nothing works in perfect harmony, which limits the overall benefit to the patient.
This startup came up with a way to deliver the complete package – a robot that can custom-prep the patient’s bone, and a joint replacement that’s precisely designed to work with the patient’s own body.
The market for this company’s tech is absolutely massive. Some experts predict that the global joint implant market could hit $27 billion by 2026. And this tiny startup is the only oneout there that could be poised to take a big bite out of that.
Right now, this startup is raising up to $20 million to take this revolutionary tech to market. The craziest part is that, unlike with many raises this big, absolutely anyone can participate. You don’t need to be accredited or jump through regulatory hoops. You just need to be ready to hit the ground running – because this company has big things in store, and something tells me they’ll be moving fast.
Let’s just hope that Define Ventures doesn’t spot this one – or they might just scoop it up before the angels get a chance. Click here to learn how you could beat them to it.
Until next time,