Section 32 closes $740M VC fund to back startups at intersection of technology and healthcare

Several lucky startups developing new technologies to transform the medical field are about to get quite a bit richer—$740 million richer, to be exact.

San Diego-based venture capital firm Section 32 said this week that it closed its fourth fund with nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars, ready to be doled out to companies in its target areas of tech, healthcare and the intersection of the two.

Fund 4, the latest in a list of funding pools that have grown increasingly larger since Section 32 launched in 2017 with its first $100 million fund, brings the firm’s total assets to more than $1.8 billion. As with its predecessors, the fourth fund includes backing from a variety of new and existing investors spanning philanthropic, nonprofit and educational organizations and foundations, as well as leaders from both tech and healthcare.

Section 32 has already begun distributing the new cash. Since an initial closing of Fund 4 in July, the company said it has made eight investments from the $740 million pool.

“What a privilege it is to close this fourth fund, and to thus have the continued opportunity to try to use capital as a lever to accelerate the profound positive impact technology can have on healthcare and humanity,” Bill Maris, founder of Section 32, said in a statement.

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Section 32 has backed more than 70 companies since its 2017 founding. Though that portfolio includes several tech startups positioned outside of healthcare—such as Coinbase and Crowdstrike—the majority are working to develop new medical technologies.

Its health tech targets run the gamut from diagnostics developers like Thrive Earlier Detection and Cue Health, to DNA sequencers like C2i Genomics and TwinStrand Biosciences, to data-focused companies like Sema4 and Ciitizen.

The VC firm was founded by Maris, the former head and founder of Alphabet’s GV, which was then known as Google Ventures. Its launch came a few months after Maris and a handful of partners scrapped plans in 2016 for the initial iteration of Section 32, which would’ve started with $230 million under its belt. Early the next year, Maris officially unveiled the fund with $100 million and only him at the helm.

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Alongside attracting hundreds of millions in new funds, Section 32 also introduced a new member of its executive team: Nina Labatt, who will take on the dual role of chief operating and financial officer.

Labatt brings with her more than two decades of experience in the VC world. Most recently, she spent nearly a decade at Trinity Ventures, where she served first as CFO and an administrative partner before being named COO and general partner in 2018.

Prior to that, she held a variety of CFO and COO roles at Health Evolution Partners, Labrador Ventures, Saints Ventures and Nice Ventures, and was also the managing director of private equity services at Silicon Valley Bank.

“I’m delighted to join the team at Section 32 at this exciting time in the firm’s growth,” Labatt said. “I look forward to collaborating with the team to continue building world-class operations and finance functions that support our investing efforts.”