Tag Archives: Capital

Need Seed Stage Device Capital? Meet the Medtech Angels at RESI Boston

17 Aug

By James Huang, Research Analyst, LSN

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With medical technology entrepreneurs facing a challenging capital landscape, angel capital remains a vital source of early stage funding in the sector.  According to studies by the Angel Resource Institute, of every angel dollar invested in the USA, nearly 20 cents goes into healthcare and life sciences.  In recognition of the importance of angel financing to early stage companies, RESI features two angel panels, and today we would like to announce our Medtech Angels panel for RESI Boston.  If you’re interested in how to pitch to an angel group, what makes a medtech opportunity suitable for angel investment, or how angels work with their portfolio companies to hit subsequent milestones and follow-on raises, this panel is for you.

LSN has brought together five highly experienced angels who have a focus on medical technology investment.  The participants are:

Chapter 13: “Straight Talk About Finding, Vetting, and Closing Capital”

22 Sep

By Nono Hu, Director of Marketing, LSN

Following the overview of the fundraising process inChapter 12, we get into some of the nitty-gritty areas and explore a few common pitfalls and how to avoid them. Chapter 13 discusses the importance of getting on the road or hitting the phone to engage with relevant investors, and why it’s important to ensure that all the investor prospects you speak with are kept in context regarding the deal. Finally, the chapter explores how to prioritize your prospects to use your runway time most effectively while raising money.

Click here to download/print the chapter PDF

Next week, LSN will bring you the final chapter, “Thirty-One Tips For Effective Fundraising”.

Enjoyed the preview? Buy now from Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble

Bookcover-Front

Chapter 13: “Straight Talk About Finding, Vetting, and Closing Capital”

20 Aug

By Lucy Parkinson, Senior Research Manager, LSN

Following the overview of the fundraising process in Chapter 12, we get into some of the nitty-gritty areas and explore a few common pitfalls and how to avoid them. Chapter 13 discusses the importance of getting on the road or hitting the phone to engage with relevant investors, and why it’s important to ensure that all the investor prospects you speak with are kept in context regarding the deal. Finally, the chapter explores how to prioritize your prospects to use your runway time most effectively while raising money.

Click here to download/print the chapter PDF

Next week, LSN will bring you the final chapter, “Thirty-One Tips For Effective Fundraising”.

Enjoyed the preview? Buy now from Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble

Bookcover-Front

Validating the Family Office Life Science Investment Strategy

22 Jan

By Max Klietmann, VP of Research, LSN

Anyone following my articles on investor trends in the life sciences arena knows that I am particularly interested in the emerging trend of family offices investing direct in life sciences companies. My interest in this space is that while family offices have a reputation of being very private and opaque, they compose an extremely important investor category. Aside from the findings aggregated by my research time via intensive web research and phone interviews, I try as often as possible to sit with wealth advisors and consultants to family offices to discuss trends we see and compare notes.

I recently had the opportunity to spend some time speaking with a managing director at a multi-billion dollar global wealth management firm focused exclusively on advisory services for family offices and ultra-high net worth private clients. We had a lengthy and involved conversation about the fundamental dynamics that are driving family offices to invest directly in companies, and in particular, life sciences. I wanted to validate two important trends that we have been following at LSN: That family offices are recruiting top wall-street talent and internalizing the due diligence process with institutional operations quality, and that family offices are moving heavily towards making direct placements into private companies, especially in life sciences. We reached a few conclusions based on trends we’ve seen in the market that shed some light on how this category of investors is behaving in the space today.

The trend of family offices broadly beginning to make direct investments began to really accelerate in the wake of the recession; investors became disillusioned with highly non-transparent alternatives funds losing substantial amounts of capital, while still taking a hefty management fee. My conversation partner mentioned that he began to see a heavy trend in recent years of family offices withdrawing their allocations to these asset classes. However, this is not happening because family offices don’t believe in private investment; rather, they want the ability to transparently control allocations. In order to do this in a sophisticated way, they need the operational diligence that was traditionally only reserved for large funds and banks. In recent years, however, it has certainly become a trend that a larger family office will bring this expertise in-house by recruiting top talent (at a premium in terms of wall-street compensation, but for a bargain relative to the fees charged by fund managers).

According to my conversation partner, he has seen a trend of family offices recruiting top-notch institutional operations talent and due diligence capabilities from Wall Street. This allows them to make placements directly in companies in order to have consistent insight and a more compelling return profile. It is primarily the large family offices with total assets above $100 million that are able to justify this sort of institutional approach to allocating their own capital on a consistent basis. This is a key demarcation line, as it is really only above this threshold that a family office can afford to consistently allocate capital on a regular basis towards investments in a substantial way (above angel-sized contributions).

This type of activity has recently seen a substantial increase in several industries, but especially in the life sciences sector. What makes this investor class so appealing to CEOs in the space is that the way in which family offices operate is very much unlike other private investment categories; typically, family offices seek to fulfill a philanthropic mission alongside their efforts towards capital-preservation. This makes direct investment in life sciences a particularly compelling opportunity, because it offers family offices the ability to make a targeted allocation with substantial financial and philanthropic upside.

More importantly, for CEO’s looking to raise capital, family office allocations in life sciences are often heavily motivated by a connection to a particular indication, meaning that they are strategic investors with an emotional motivation to help a therapeutic succeed in coming to market. This attitude was confirmed by our discussion, and it is likely that in a macro-sense this will be an increasingly important piece of family offices’ investment focus, as chronic diseases linked to old age become more prevalent in the coming years. These are not exit-oriented investments by any means, and it is typically the success of the therapeutic that constitutes the most important aspect of the investment.

Investor Series: Selecting the Right Kind of PE Partner for your Life Science Firm – Part 2: Growth Capital

22 Jan

By Danielle Silva, Director of Research, LSN

Life science firms may often times find it difficult to select the right kind of private equity fund to partner with during their fundraising process. In order to pinpoint the right private equity group (PEG) to work with, the individuals tasked with fundraising at a life science firm must first gain an understanding of each private equity strategy. Last week, LSN offered an in-depth profile on buyout funds. This week, we shift the focus of our investor series, and take a deep dive into growth equity funds.

Growth equity funds, as their name suggests, supply an injection of capital into firms who are looking to expand or grow their businesses. Life science companies may be seeking this kind of capital in order to finance a major merger & acquisition, partner with a firm that has operational expertise, reduce personal guarantees on loans, or enter into new markets.

So why would a life sciences firm partner with a growth equity fund? Usually, because their business plans have been halted due to lack of available capital. As an added benefit, growth equity funds provide guidance at the board level. This means that one or more members of the private equity group will sit on the management board of their portfolio companies. Furthermore, growth capital funds usually take a non-controlling minority stake in firms, taking up to a 40% equity stake in a firm. This is because they prefer that the current management team continues to run the business.

Growth capital firms sometimes act like venture capital by providing companies with capital that helps them to accelerate the firm’s growth. However, unlike venture capital funds, growth equity funds only invest in established companies that have recurring, predictable revenue streams. For this reason, growth equity funds will not invest in an early stage, pre-revenue company. In the life sciences space, for example, a growth equity fund would invest in a medtech firm that already has one or more devices on the market. On the other hand, they would not invest in a medtech company, for instance, who has a prototype of their product, but does not have any products on the market.

Growth equity funds also vary greatly from buyout funds. Buyout PEGs typically generate revenue through restructuring a business, while growth capital investors hope to achieve returns by growing the business. Buyout funds also sometimes fully buyout a business owner, and thus do not prefer to keep the majority of the management team, whereas growth equity funds typically prefer that the current manager does stay with the firm and run the company.

Growth equity funds also have a much shorter-term holding period for their portfolio companies than both buyout and venture capital funds. Typically, growth equity funds will only hold a portfolio company long enough for their growth plans to be executed, and will then sell the business shortly after this expansion starts generating revenue.

Conversely, private equity funds typically hold businesses for longer time periods because it frequently takes longer for cost-cutting or restructuring measures to make firms increase their profitability. A venture capital fund typically has a longer time horizon than a growth fund because the firm is investing in an early stage company, and it tends to take a long period of time for these firms to become cash-flow positive, especially in the case of firms that are investing in pre-revenue companies.

Growth capital funds often focus due diligence efforts on forecasting the feasibility of the expansion that they are financing, rather than looking at the long-term attractiveness of the company as a whole. The expectation is that profits will be generated through the expansion of the company, and these profits will be used to return the capital that was provided by the fund.

When profits from the company’s expansion are not able to cover the capital that was provided by the growth equity fund, growth equity funds will employ an add-on strategy (similar to buyout funds) which will involve the acquisition of a smaller company, thus making the firm a larger player in their respective industry, with a larger market share. The cash flow that is generated from the company that is acquired can then either be used to increase the percentage of the fund’s equity stake in the parent company, or can be used to return capital to the fund.

Growth capital funds typically exit a company through a merger, or through an initial public offering (IPO). Therefore, because these funds seek to make exits through M&A or through an IPO, they typically work with larger and more established firms. Growth equity funds in the life science sector then, for example, would work with a biotech therapeutics company that currently has at least one product on the market, but would most likely not invest in a company that only has one product that is going through the clinical development process. Growth capital funds, consequently, can be very valuable partners for life science companies that are seeking to retain their current management team and are cash-flow-positive, providing these firms with the capital necessary to grow and expand their operations.

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