Lumira Ventures closes $276 million fund IV to back health care companies

It’s Lumira’s largest fund to date, and the firm believes it’s the largest institutional life sciences venture capital fund ever raised in Canada.

Life sciences-focused venture capital firm Lumira Ventures announced the closing of a $276 million fund (Lumira Ventures IV).

Why it matters: It’s Lumira’s largest fund to date, and the firm believes it’s the largest institutional life sciences venture capital fund ever raised in Canada.

In parallel, Lumira closed a strategic venture fund in partnership with an international pharmaceutical company.  Collectively, the new funds represent over $321 million of committed capital.

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Details: Lumira Ventures IV’s investor base includes family offices, foundations, funds-of-funds, pension plans, sovereign government funds and strategic corporate investors. Investors in the fund include: BC’s Vancity, Kensington Capital Partners, Fonds de Solidarité FTQ, Northleaf Capital Partners, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, the Business Development Bank of Canada, Teralys Capital, the Ontario Capital Growth Corporation, Royal Bank of Canada, Investissement Québec, Fondaction, Alexandria Venture Investments, Angelini Pharma, China Grand Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Holdings, and Amana Global Partners.

“This has been a truly transformative time for Lumira Ventures and the life sciences sector in Canada and around the world," said Peter van der Velden, co-founder and Managing General Partner of Lumira Ventures. "While Lumira Ventures IV is more than 55% larger than our prior fund, its mission and strategy remain the same – investing in companies at the forefront of biomedical innovation whose products have the potential to transform patient outcomes, improve healthcare access and reduce the cost of healthcare delivery. We invest in and help build companies led by mission-driven healthcare entrepreneurs that are often located in underserved regions of the North American life sciences ecosystem."

Turning up the temperature on the VC community: According to The 50, a guide released by the Canadian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association in April, Lumira completed 7 investments (4 Canadian, 3 US) and 11 follow-ons in 2020, placing them in the top decile of most active healthcare investors in North America. Plus, in Q1 2021, 10 of Lumira’s companies raised $754 million.

Busy in BC: In 2020, Zymeworks Inc. and Aurinia Pharmaceuticals, two BC companies backed by Lumira, achieved $1-billion-plus valuations after their IPOs. At one point, both were valued at over $2-billion, “the first Canadian companies to do so in a decade, and generating $117M of realizations (+5x) for $121M Fund II,” according to the firm.

"Investor interest in our new fund meaningfully exceeded our expectations, a testament to the value of the platform our team has been building since 2005," said Gerry Brunk, co-founder and Managing Director of Lumira Ventures. "The past 18 months have brought an unprecedented set of challenges worldwide.  We've been encouraged during this time to see the growing recognition of the value of investing in biomedical innovation. We also recognize the remarkable perseverance and accomplishments of the founders and entrepreneurs in our portfolio, and across our sector. Looking ahead, the depth and quality of our pipeline of new investment opportunities, on both sides of the border, has never been stronger in the two decades our team has been investing together, and we've already closed four investments from our new fund.”

Lumira currently manages a portfolio of over 30 private and public companies. In addition to their Vancouver office, the company has a presence in Toronto, Montreal and Boston.

Situational awareness: Lumira is one of many venture capital firms with a BC presence that have recently announced new funds closing or ambitious new fund targets.

Active Impact Investments recently announced the closing of a $54 million climate tech fund. In addition, Rhino Ventures announced that it's raising a $100 million fund.

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