By: David Nicklaus
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Date: December 2, 2016

When RiverVest Venture Partners opened its doors in 2000, hopes were high that it would be an important funding source for St. Louis’ nascent biotechnology industry.

RiverVest went on to be a highly successful venture capital firm, managing $290 million and demonstrating a knack for identifying health care startups that would later go public or be acquired by larger companies.

Of RiverVest’s 34 investments, however, only a handful have been within a few miles of its Clayton headquarters. The firm’s partners monitored startup activity here but rarely found a fit. Firms in St. Louis were too early-stage, and the support system wasn’t as developed as in places like San Diego and Minneapolis, where RiverVest had some of its biggest success stories.

That is changing. This week, RiverVest announced that it has raised $15 million for a fund that will focus mostly on St. Louis. Its Archer Seed Fund plans to invest in drug startups that come out of Washington University, St. Louis University and other area institutions.

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