VC Spotlight: Arboretum Ventures

Arboretum Ventures

Ann Arbor, Michigan 

What it is: Founded in 2002, Arboretum Ventures focuses on investing in medical devices, life science tools and diagnostics and tech-enabled care delivery. The firm also prioritizes companies that deal with  chronic condition management, incentives for wellness and prevention, rising consumer engagement and the expansion of integrated care. 

The firm’s fifth fund raised $250 million in 2019. 

Leadership: Founded by Jan Garfinkle, a long-time financier and entrepreneur.

Investment style/track record: The firm makes investments of an undisclosed amount into companies that have launched commercially or are within two years of commercialization and are “under-ventured” geographies in nascent segments. The fund seeks companies that provide “better, faster, cheaper” technologies that align with current value-based healthcare initiatives and targets CEOs with experience and domain expertise who are seeking investment partners rather than passive financiers. The firm pursues companies that demonstrate capital efficiency and require less than $40-50 million to achieve an exit while delivering meaningful healthcare system cost savings.

One of the firm’s successful exits was nVision Medical, a women’s health company that developed a novel balloon catheter capable of unprecedented access to the fallopian tubes for ovarian cancer diagnostic assessment that successfully collected cancerous cells for diagnostic purposes. The firm led the $12 million Series B investment and recruited additional syndicate partners. Boston Scientific acquired the company for an upfront payment of $150 million with an additional $125 million in potential clinical and commercial milestone payments.

The firm has invested in over 50 companies and currently has  21 companies in its portfolio. Among Arboretum’s recent successful exits have been the sale of Maple Grove, Minn.-based NxThera to Boston Scientific for up to $406 million and joint surgery company Si-Bone which went public last year in a $124 million IPO.

Quote: “We target trying to reduce 20 percent of the episode of care,” said Jan Garfinkle, founder and managing partner in an Associated Press article. “We’ve invested now in 50 different companies and they on average they hit that milestone.” 

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