Investment

This week’s family investment deals

Bill Gates and Estée Lauder’s chairman emeritus Leonard Lauder have teamed up with the Dolby family and the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation to fund a big initiative in the diagnostics of Alzheimer’s disease.

The $30 million investment will fund efforts for the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. The investment will be part of a new venture initiative called Diagnostic Accelerator. According to a press release: “Diagnostic Accelerator will be a venture philanthropy vehicle, an innovative model that gives it the flexibility to back promising cutting-edge research that may not have a guaranteed immediate commercial return. It will strike a balance between taking more risks than traditional venture capital funds and being more focused on developing real products for the marketplace than basic research funded by governments or charitable organizations”

Family investment group The William K. Warren Foundation has backed a biotech/AI startup called Spring. The Foundation was one of five investors in a seed round worth $6 million for the New York-based startup.

Pritzker Group Venture Capital has backed Openpath Security, a mobile and cloud-enabled access control system. Pritzker Venture Capital, the venture capital part of the Pritzker Group, owned by JB Pritzker and his brother Tony, was one of six investors in a Series B funding round worth $20 million for the startup.

Vulcan Capital, part of Paul Allen’s family office Vulcan, has backed e-commerce group Pointy. Vulcan co-invested with one other investor in a Series B funding round worth $12 million for the Irish-based startup.

Singapore family investment office Shanda Group and Hong Kong family office Ironfire Ventures have invested in US AI group 2Hz. Shanda and Ironfire seeded the US venture with two other investors with total funding worth $1.5 million.

Family investment group Ulysses Diversified Holdings and Peter Thiel’s investment group Thiel Capital have backed Compass Therapeutics, a biotech startup. Ulysses and Thiel were one of nine investors committing $49 million to the Series A funding round.

Hambro Perks, a UK venture group owned by Rupert Hambro, has backed an educational startup called Pi-Top. Hambro Perks was one of two investors committing $16 million in a Series B funding round for the UK startup.  

Omidyar Network, an investment office owned by the US-based Omidyar family, has backed an Indian business news startup called The Ken. Omidyar Network committed $1.5 million in a Series A funding round.

Breyer Capital, the investment group of Jim Breyer, has backed a China-based blockchain startup called Nervos. Breyer Capital was one of 21 investors in a Series A funding round worth $28 million.  

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