Time for round 2: Illumina-backed VC snags $325M for its next fund
Illumina Ventures closed off its second investment fund with a total commitment of $325 million, offering fresh fuel to back a slate of startups that have already included a smorgasbord of companies, covering everything from diagnostics to biotech drug development and genomics.
Fund II brings the total investment under Illumina Ventures’ oversight to $560 million, which has been focused on early-stage companies. And it has a transatlantic portfolio that includes SQZ, Twist and Encoded Therapeutics.
“This larger fund enables us to pursue more ambitious projects in the US and Europe while building upon the strategies and core values that have been successful in the past,” founder Nick Naclerio said in a prepared statement.
Having started Illumina Ventures back in 2016, Naclerio came from the biotech that shares its name as their former SVP of Corporate and Venture Development — bringing a $100 million investment along with him.
With Illumina anchoring the fund, the majority of the committed capital came from other investors, such as the state-run Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF).
Since its launch, Illumina Ventures has made investments in more than two dozen companies, including Walking Fish Therapeutics, which made headlines last week when they announced a $50 million Series A — along with founder Rusty Williams’ fascination with axolotls.
“It’s been a great partnership, and we look forward to seeing what comes from Fund II,” said Illumina CEO Francis DeSouza in a statement.
ISIF’s senior investment director Paul Saunders noted: “We are delighted to be supporting Illumina Ventures’ second fund. Illumina Ventures’ unique approach and perspective adds significant value to the Irish market.”