Investing in Biopharma and Medical Devices
We Deliver Consistently Strong Results to Investors
- Lead financings, including founding companies, and build strong investor syndicates
- Focus on pre-money valuation and return potential
- Effectively manage risk, driving high hit rate
We Develop Products to Address Significant Unmet Medical Needs
- Invest in products (versus platforms) with a known path to clinical approval
- Place emphasis on demonstrating safety and efficacy in early clinical trials
- Aim to address pipeline needs of large pharmaceutical and medical device companies
- Rely on proven investment approaches that have driven past success, while introducing new strategies with significant value-creation potential
We Found and Guide Successful Companies
- Build high-performance teams, often ones we have worked with before, and boards
- Collaborate in developing company strategy and operating plans
- Structure financing terms to position companies for success
We Leverage a Unique Innovation Network
- Find and cultivate compelling investment opportunities wherever they are
- Partner with a distinct network of entrepreneurs, investors, and key opinion leaders for deal flow
- Access global scientific, regulatory, clinical and reimbursement expertise for due diligence
- Provide geographic diversification for investors
We Maintain a Strong Partnership Built to Last
- Leverage extensive and complementary skills leading to strong investment decisions
- Follow a team approach to decision-making and portfolio company oversight
We Are RiverVest
Committed to doing business the right way to deliver the best outcomes for our stakeholders:
- Patients: We find and fund innovation to address significant unmet medical needs
- Entrepreneurs: We passionately believe in the teams we support and dedicate ourselves to helping them transform promising technologies into successful therapies
- Investors: We earn trust by building high-conviction portfolios, managing risk, and maximizing value
RiverVest Venture Partners was founded in September 2000 to invest nationally in life science companies, with a focus on medical devices and biopharma. Twenty years later, our mission has resulted in 26 commercial products currently treating patients.
- July 1998
Tom Melzer and Andy Craig explore feasibility of a St. Louis-based venture capital firm.
- February 2000
Jay Schmelter joins effort as co-founder, along with Melzer and Craig.
- September 2000
RiverVest is formed and raises Fund I. Fund I portfolio company investments lead to 16 commercial products treating patients to this day.
- October 2000
First two investments are made in Salient Surgical (Jay Schmelter co-founder) and CyDex Pharmaceuticals. Deals return a combined 3x invested dollars. Commercial products from both companies have helped millions of patients.
- August 2006
RiverVest raises Fund II. Managing Directors John McKearn, Ph.D., and Niall O’Donnell, Ph.D., join and develop a successful biopharma strategy.
- January 2008
RiverVest Cleveland office opens.
- September 2011
3×5 Special Opportunity Fund (joint venture with Portland-based Arnerich Massena) launches with a concentrated portfolio of later-stage life science and natural resources investments.
- December 2011
Founded by RiverVest, Fund II company Lutonix exits with 8.0x gross return, highest multiple to date.
- March 2014
RiverVest Fund III is raised, continuing same successful strategy as Fund II.
- June 2014
Sale of portfolio company Lumena Pharmaceuticals to Shire closes, representing firm’s 25th exit.
- November 2015
3×5 RiverVest Fund II launches with same strategy as 3×5 Special Opportunity Fund.
- April 2016
RiverVest San Diego office opens. Managing Director Nancy Hong, Ph.D., joins.
- November 2016
RiverVest Archer Seed Fund is raised.
- December 2017
RiverVest Fund IV is raised.
- May 2018
Astra-Zeneca commercializes Lokelma™, the 25th product treating patients originated in a RiverVest portfolio company (ZS Pharma).
- July 2018
Portfolio company Allakos completes initial public offering, one of the most successful biotech IPOs in 2018.
- September 2019
Managing Director Derek Rapp joins.
- January 2020
Pre-marketing of RiverVest Fund V begins.
- September 2020
RiverVest celebrates 20 years investing in medical devices and biopharma.
Andy Craig, a RiverVest co-founder and former RiverVest managing director, as well as former chairman of NationsBank and chairman & CEO of Boatmen’s Bancshares, passed away on May 24, 2019. Andy’s high professional standards, caring for others, and decisiveness are important building blocks of RiverVest’s culture, which will serve the firm, its investors, and entrepreneurial partners well for years to come.