SAN FRANCISCO — Early-stage venture capital firm Illumina Ventures says it has raised $230 million for its first fund. Illumina Ventures was launched in the summer of 2016 with an initial $100 million investment from Illumina, a San Diego-based genetic research company. The balance of the funds have been raised from a mix of corporate, institutional, sovereign, and individual investors.
Illumina Ventures was founded by Nicholas Naclerio, Ph.D., who was formerly SVP of corporate and venture development for Illumina, where he was responsible for Illumina’s corporate strategy, business development, acquisitions, spin-offs, and venture investing. The new firm is managed independently from Illumina and is focused exclusively on genomics and precision medicine.
“Genomics has the potential to solve many of society’s biggest challenges, from understanding the molecular basis of life, to more accurate medical diagnosis, life-saving drugs, and more sustainable sources of energy and food,” said Naclerio, founding partner. “The investor interest in this fund exceeded my expectations and will allow us to expand our team and support a greater number of entrepreneurs.”
“The rapid advances in genomics are creating tremendous entrepreneurial opportunities across industries from novel therapeutics, diagnostics and research tools to food security and synthetic biology,” said Francis deSouza, president and chief executive officer of Illumina. “We invested in Illumina Ventures because we believe Nick and his team are uniquely positioned to identify, nurture and accelerate the most promising entrepreneurs in genomics.”