Octopus Ventures announces new healthtech team and future €112.5 million global fund

Pooja Sikka joins Octopus Ventures

Octopus Ventures today announced boosting its health tech offering with a new team and a future approx. €112.5 million institutional global fund, in order to take advantage of the health tech market opportunity. 

The new team of three builds on Octopus’ existing expertise in the rapidly evolving health tech space, enabling the investor to accelerate its coverage of the sector. Joe Stringer, Dr Pooja Sikka and Shamik Parekh join Octopus Ventures from TenX Health, and bring with them a wealth of experience and a deep and broad network in the digital healthcare space. Joe and Pooja were formerly founding members of EY Ventures, leading the health and social care portfolio.

The team will manage the proposed fund, which is targeting around €112.5 million to invest in early-stage health tech businesses. The fund aims to accelerate healthcare technology into global health systems and directly to consumers that need better access to healthcare. It will focus on Series A, reserving capital to follow on throughout the growth rounds. Octopus Group will be the cornerstone investor, bringing its strong track record and experience to the table.

Commenting on the news, Alliott Cole, Co-CEO of Octopus Ventures, said: “COVID-19 has doubled the pace of growth in healthcare technology. Joe, Pooja and Shamik’s arrival and the launch of the fund puts us in an even stronger position to take advantage of the investment opportunities that are emerging from the pandemic as the digital healthcare revolution continues. We now have one of the largest teams backing those entrepreneurs that are radically rethinking how healthcare can be delivered – across Europe as well as expanding our footprint into emerging markets. We are delighted to cornerstone this new fund and look forward to providing investors with an opportunity to access this global growth market.”

Joe Stringer, founding member of EY Ventures, and now part of Octopus Ventures said: “Octopus is one of the most active technology investors in early-stage companies in Europe and already has a strong track record in backing pioneering entrepreneurs that are changing the way healthcare is delivered. This breadth of experience, combined with the group’s outstanding fund management platform, makes it an exciting partner for us to accelerate our plans to support the revolution we are seeing in digital health through the new fund. Coronavirus has put immense pressure on our healthcare systems and has been a catalyst for the mass adoption of tech to help improve patient care. This change is here to stay and with that comes an opportunity to develop meaningful health tech that can really make a difference to the lives of millions around the world.”

Dr Pooja Sikka, also a founding member of EY Ventures, and now part of Octopus Ventures added: “Combined with the growth potential in technology and the positive social impact of the sector, digital health has swung sharply into the spotlight. There is a massive opportunity to back businesses that can really make a difference to the way healthcare is delivered to the benefit of patients across Europe and the emerging markets. We are looking forward to unlocking this potential with our new fund, building on Octopus’ reputation as one of Europe’s leading VCs and its mission to achieve impact at scale and pace.”

The recent announcement signals Octopus Ventures’ intention to dial up its investment activity, particularly in high impact sectors, despite the market uncertainty caused by COVID-19, as it continues to create opportunities for investors to back pioneering entrepreneurs and access the growth potential these businesses offer.