Venture

Section 32: Ex-Google venture chief Maris pursues indie role with $230M biotech fund

Bill Maris

Bill Maris

As Bill Maris prepared to depart from his high-profile position as chief of Google’s venture arm, now called GV, he shrugged off questions about his next career act. But sources are telling Recode that he’s already well along the way to setting up an independent, $230 million fund of his own, where he’ll be going back to pursuing a deep interest in biotech and healthcare.

The new group is called Section 32, an evident reference to the autonomous Section 31 intelligence group featured in Star Trek. In keeping with the tech industry’s deep reluctance to discuss anything about new programs or technologies that have yet to be prepped for public consumption, Maris wasn’t talking on Monday.

But Maris never made any secret of the fact that he had a particular affection for healthcare — and particularly life sciences investing — during his stint with Google. And he enjoyed lending Google’s name and fortune to the biotechs he backed. That roster included joining the syndicate for Forty Seven’s $75 million A round in early 2016, two rounds totaling $120 million for the immuno-oncology player Arcus Biosciences as well as a round for Armo BioSciences.

I’m really passionate about the life sciences work that we’ve done,” Maris told Recode in a kind of exit interview last August. “I love that team and they’re incredibly talented. They’re doing things that affect patients at the end of the day. That’s where I spent a lot of my time lately.”

Maris won’t have Google’s deep, deep pockets in his new fund. But you can be sure he’ll have no end of suitors for the new syndicates planned for 2017.


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