New investors push corporate-backed venture funds down the rankings
Two big beasts of the biotech venture world – Orbimed and NEA – have long dominated the private financing space, a look back over 10 years of investor activity finds. A comparison of the first and second halves of the decade also shows how a couple of the big corporate venture funds have slipped down the rankings, though in Novartis’s case this was largely caused by an explosion of activity from new, cash-rich private funds. The Swiss pharma’s venture arm was involved in roughly the same proportion of rounds in the two five-year periods analysed, yet fell several places. Glaxo’s retreat – its venture arm, SR One, sits at 47th place in the later five-year period – culminated in a spin-off last year. Notable arrivals in the top 10 more recently include Cormorant, which largely backs large, pre-flotation crossover rounds, financings that have become common with IPO window wide open. GV is Google’s venture arm, a new cash-rich investor that backed broadly across the life science space, funding developers of therapeutics and diagnostics alike.
|Biopharma's biggest venture investors – a 10-year view|
|Investor ranking 2011-15||Investor ranking 2016-20|
|Ranking||Investor||Round count||% of rounds as lead investor||Ranking||Investor||Round count||% of rounds as lead investor|
|1||Orbimed Advisors||104||36%||1||Orbimed Advisors||148||31%|
|2||New Enterprise Associates||96||42%||2||New Enterprise Associates||95||32%|
|4||Glaxosmithkline||59||27%||4||Arch Venture Partners||90||31%|
|5||Versant Ventures||57||30%||5||Alexandria Venture Investments||89||4%|
|6||Third Rock Ventures||55||27%||6||Cormorant Asset Management||85||12%|
|9||F-Prime Capital||53||21%||9||Johnson & Johnson||69||17%|
|10||SV Life Sciences||52||19%||10||Deerfield||66||36%|
|Source: Evaluate Pharma.|
Additional analyses of corporate venture can be found here: The retreat of corporate venture funding?