The Time 100: LA-based VC firm closes $100M fund to spice up biotech with Silicon Valley star power

The cold war between coastal biotech hubs has taken another turn, with an amalgamation of buzzy California-based investors closing a new venture fund to stake uncharted terrain for the industry. 

Time BioVentures has wrapped up its first venture fund, announcing $100 million in investments to “finance game-changing innovations in healthcare,” according to an announcement Wednesday. Arguably the most prominent of the fund's limited partners is Uber and Twitter investor Chris Sacca. The firm’s general partners are musician and Spotify investor D.A. Wallach along with former Novartis executive Tim Wright, who was most recently the chief research and development officer at Regulus Therapeutics. It’s a somewhat unlikely pairing—but the two meld early start-up experience with drug development know-how. 

And judging by the fund’s unveiling, there’s no shortage of internal hype. 

“This is perhaps the largest addressable market in the global economy, and we believe that the Mark Zuckerbergs and Larry Pages of healthcare are out there and will build generationally important companies that will transform medicine for decades to come," Wallach said in a release.

It's probably safe to assume that Time's backers don't want to copy Zuckerberg too literally—his company Meta has lost almost two-thirds of its value in a year and Facebook is currently going through its first round of layoffs ever—but it gives a sense of the firm's willingness to look further afield for inspiration. Time’s commercial and scientific advisors include former Illumina CEO Jay Flatley, Napster founder Sean Parker and Nobel-prize-winning scientist Jim Allison, Ph.D.

Time’s first investments have included Elon Musk co-founded Neuralink, which is designing an implantable “brain-computer interface” to allow people with disabilities to control computers with their brain. No, this is not a sci-fi plot. It’s also not the first time Wallach and Musk have linked up, with the former also an investor in Musk's SpaceX. 

Another pet project for the firm is Amsterdam-based Kling Biotherapeutics, which last month dosed its first patient in a phase 1b trial testing its anti-CD9, KBA1412, to treat solid tumors. The open-label, dose-escalation trial is looking to recruit just more than 100 patients across the Netherlands and Belgium. Future expansion cohorts plan to test KBA1412 with PD-1 checkpoint inhibitors.