New Capital, Venture Capital

RiverVest ready to roll with Fund IV after closing the till with $184M

John McKearn

RiverVest Venture Partners first closed its fourth fund late last year with a continued mission to bankroll drug and medical device projects that target unmet medical needs. Eight investments — including three new companies — later, the St. Louis-based VC firm is calling it a day with $184.4 million raised in total.

With Fund IV, RiverVest’s assets under management now add up to $753 million.

Niall O’Donnell

Jay Schmelter — RiverVest co-founder and a managing director focused on medical devices — summarizes the firm’s strategy as focusing on companies that truly fill a gap, “while attracting a buyer or being ready for an IPO within three to five years of the initial investment.”

Nancy Hong

John McKearn, Niall O’Donnell and Nancy Hong are the three managing directors leading the biopharma portfolio. Hong, the newest member of the team, helped open up RiverVest’s San Diego office in 2016.

Most recently, RiverVest led a $40 million round for OncoResponse as the Seattle-based biotech looks to turn its preclinical work on the tumor microenvironment into viable clinical programs.

Newly public Allakos $ALLK, AstraZeneca-acquired ZS Pharma and Shire subsidiary Lumena Pharma are among the alumni of RiverVest Fund II and Fund III.


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Biotech Investment Analyst
SV Health Investors Boston, MA
Director, Program Management
Contrafect Corporation New York, NY
Director, Translational Sciences
Cadent Therapeutics Cambridge, MA

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