The VC Connection #6

Aug 11, 2022

Featuring venBio and Sierra Ventures

Hello again!  Welcome back to Connect’s VC Connection, our Venture Capital newsletter. Where we showcase exceptional VC firms, giving you better insight into their areas of focus and investment criteria. We hope that this newsletter will shine some light in the deep waters of Venture Capital.

This week we are showcasing two firms, each with two different focuses.  venBio with a focus on Life Science and Sierra Ventures with a focus on Tech.

The VC Connection is a semi-regular, ongoing newsletter where we profile funds that we have developed relationships with. If you would like to see other firms we know, feel free to browse through our curated VC List, “Other VC Firms.”


I’m sure we’ve always heard growing up that two heads are better than one.  The more eyes you have looking at a problem,  the better the solution you find. I feel like this analogy perfectly sums up venBio.  A LifeSci firm with a focus on novel therapeutics, however, before an investment is made, they consult their whole team.  From their partners, to principals, to their expert advisors, and their Limited Partners (large biotech and pharma companies), venBio makes sure they have everyone’s input during the investment process.

Founded in 2009 and headquartered in San Francisco, venBio has been investing in novel therapeutics companies all over the world.  Luckily, one of the places they’ve invested in is sunny San Diego, with investments in Aragon Pharmaceuticals, Artiva Biotherapeutics, Metacrine, RayzeBio, Seragon Pharmaceuticals, Solstice Biologics, Turning Point Therapeutics, and Ventyx Biosciences. They’ve taken many of their San Diego portfolio companies to IPO or M&A.

venBio invests primarily in therapeutics, with the mission to make an impact on patient care, investing their time, expertise, and resources to best position their teams for success.  From the IP to the clinical trial design, venBio makes sure each portfolio company is prepared for each stage of development.

With the help of venBio, companies are able to make a much bigger splash and create more change than they could have alone.

Thesis: Novel Therapeutics for Unmet Medical Needs
Industry: Therapeutics
Location: San Francisco, CA
Stage: Seed, Series A, Growth
Initial Investment Size: Up to $30M
SD Portfolio Companies: Aragon Pharmaceuticals, Artiva Biotherapeutics, Metacrine, RayzeBio, Seragon Pharmaceuticals, Solstice Biologics, Turning Point Therapeutics, and Ventyx Biosciences


Since 1982, Sierra Ventures has been partnering into companies and investing in the future.  For over 40 years this firm has stood the test of time and continues to make investments to this day.  Currently, Sierra is investing in new generation enterprises and emerging technologies, providing the stepping stones for the Future of the Enterprise.

Sierra primarily invests early in a companies life cycle, beginning with either their Seed or Series A rounds.  However, they prefer companies that are disrupting large markets, have a proven product market fit, and have strong intellectual property to position themselves ahead of their competitors. 

The firm is focused on putting their money in technology companies.  Investing in sectors like AI, FinTech, HealthTech, IoT, SaaS, Security, Blockchain, and VR.  Sectors where they seem to have notable expertise, with investments in CourseHero, Intuit, and SD companies Teradata, and Verari Systems.

Sierra understands that great companies aren’t built overnight and makes sure to partner closely with their portfolio companies and share their expertise and network.  With a network of 1000 global IT executives, that doesn’t sound too bad.

Thesis: Next Generation Enterprise and Emerging Tech Companies
Industry: AI/ML, Big Data, Cloud, FinTech, HealthTech, Iot/Infrastructure, Marketplaces, SaaS & Enterprise Apps, and Security, 5G/Wireless, Devices, Blockchain, Robotics, VR/AR
Location: San Mateo, CA
Stage: Seed and Series A
Initial Investment Size: $1-5M
SD Portfolio Companies: Teradata and Verari Systems
Notable Investments: CourseHero and Intuit

Here at Connect, our mission is to help San Diego’s incredible startup companies grow and succeed. One way we do that is by connecting our startups to venture capitalists. If you are interested in getting connected with our network, we recommend you apply to our program, Springboard. In this program, you will get the opportunity to speak with expert advisors.


Keep on charging forward,

The Connect Team