RiverVest Venture Partners® is a leading venture capital firm building life science companies to address significant unmet needs of patients and deliver consistently strong results to investors.



Investing in Biopharma and Medical Devices

We Deliver Consistently
Strong Results to

We Develop Products to
Address Significant
Unmet Medical Needs

We Found and Guide Successful Companies

We Leverage a Unique
Innovation Network

We Maintain a Strong Partnership Built to Last

We Are RiverVest

Committed to doing business the right way to deliver the best outcomes for our stakeholders:



61 Investments and 41 Exits


RiverVest Venture Partners was founded in St. Louis in September 2000.  With headquarters in St. Louis and offices in San Diego and Cleveland, RiverVest accesses forward-thinking research and clinical expertise at leading institutions across the country to fund and found biopharma and medical device companies that address significant unmet needs of patients and deliver consistently strong returns to investors.

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 (now commercialized by Merck). Deals return a combined 3x on invested dollars. Commercial products from both companies have helped millions of patients.


Mike Berman joins RiverVest to advise on device investments and to provide a link to the robust innovation community in Israel.

August 2006

RiverVest raises Fund II (top-quartile performer). John McKearn, Ph.D., and Niall O’Donnell, Ph.D., join and develop a successful biopharma strategy.

November 2006

Portfolio company Cabrellis acquired by Pharmion, delivers 6x return.

January 2008

RiverVest Cleveland office opens, with Karen Spilizewski joining, giving the fim improved access to deal flow and to excellent due diligence resources.

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 resource/infrastructure 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

Lumena Pharmaceuticals, co-founded and seed-funded by RiverVest, acquired by Shire, delivers ~ $400 million to investors.

November 2015

3×5 RiverVest Fund II launches with same strategy as 3×5 Special Opportunity Fund.

April 2016

RiverVest San Diego office opens.

November 2016

RiverVest Archer Seed Fund is raised.

December 2017

RiverVest Fund IV is raised (later ranks in top quartile DPI of 2018 vintage year funds).

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 (laer results in 9x return for RiverVest).

May 24, 2019

RiverVest co-founder Andy Craig passes away. Drawing on four decades of corporate and civic leadership and principled decision-making on behalf of stakeholders, Andy was instrumental in establishing a company ethos of integrity, discipline, teamwork, and trust that defines RiverVest to this day.

September 2019

Derek Rapp and Isaac Zike join.

September 2020

RiverVest celebrates 20 years investing in medical devices and biopharma.

February 2021

Pascal Krotee joins.

March 2021

RiverVest Fund V is raised with $275M in commitments.

September 2022

Good Therapeutics and Standard Bariatrics, acquired by Roche and Teleflex, respectively. Both transactions close on September 27, marking the Firm's 21st and 22nd profitable exits.

December 2023

RiverVest promotes three team members, positioning the firm well for the future: Karen Spilizewski and Isaac Zike, PhD to managing director, and Pascal Krotee PhD to principal.

rivervest map dots graphic image

RiverVest’s Footprint Increases Its Opportunity Set

St. Louis

101 S. Hanley Road, Suite 1850
St. Louis, MO 63105
Phone: (314) 726.6700

San Diego

10996 Torreyana Road, Suite 280
San Diego, CA 92121
Phone: (314) 726.6700


11000 Cedar Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44106
Phone: (216) 658.3982
RiverVest strives to improve the lives of patients, support entrepreneurs, and earn the trust of investors through science, strategy, and innovation. Contact us at info@rivervest.com
Transparency in Coverage Rule: To access the machine-readable files created and published by United Healthcare, please click here.
© Copyright 2024 RiverVest® All Rights Reserved. | Privacy Policy

Subscribe to our newsletter

Rivervest Contact