East Ventures announced its first Healthcare Fund of US$30m
By Digital News Asia October 23, 2023
- Committed to fostering innovation, improve healthcare access in Indonesia
- Will support startups addressing healthcare challenges and opportunities
East Ventures, a leading venture capital firm in Indonesia and Southeast Asia, announced its first healthcare-focused fund amounting to US$30 million (RM143 million) dedicated to supporting innovative healthcare solutions in Indonesia.
The “East Ventures Healthcare Fund” aims to empower and support promising Indonesian startups that address the unique challenges and opportunities in the Indonesian healthcare landscape, the firm said in a statement.
Willson Cuaca (pic), co-founder and managing partner at East Ventures emphasised Indonesia’s position as one of Southeast Asia's most dynamic healthcare markets with enormous potential for innovation and growth. “With our experience in investing across sectors and stages, we believe this healthcare fund will play a pivotal role in fostering and catalysing healthcare innovation in Indonesia. This fund serves as our proof of our long-term commitment in this space.”
Cuaca added, “We are committed to collaborating with all stakeholders to create a healthier and more productive Southeast Asia for current and future generations.”
Before creating this fund, East Ventures actively invested in healthcare startups and companies in the region, accumulating a portfolio of 30 healthcare-related companies. Recent investments include Mesh Bio, AMILI, Aevice Health, Etana, among others.
While investments in genomics-related ventures were relatively novel in 2018, it has invested in genomics startups, such as NalaGenetics and Nusantics, which are now leading the genomics-based healthcare revolution in Indonesia and Southeast Asia.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, East Ventures initiated efforts to strengthen Indonesia’s healthcare system. In March 2020, the "Indonesia PASTI Bisa" (IDPB) initiative was launched to mobilise the firm's digital ecosystem in support of government and private sector efforts to mitigate the pandemic's impacts. The initiative included programmes such as IDPB Test Kit, IDPB Safeguards PPE, and IDPB Safeguards Oxygen.
Additionally, East Ventures has actively contributed to the advancement of genomics in Indonesia. This support began with a donation to the Biomedical & Genome Science Initiative (BGSi), an initiative by Indonesia's Ministry of Health (Kemenkes). The contribution, made in August 2022, aimed to provide precision medicine services to the community. It included the provision of sequencing necessities in the form of reagents and consumables, with a total value exceeding US$63,000 (RM301,000).
Moreover, in February 2023, East Ventures, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia, launched a white paper titled "Genomics: Leapfrogging into the Indonesian Healthcare Future." This white paper aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of how genomics can improve Indonesia's healthcare system.
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