US-based conglomerate General Electric Company has made its first investment out of its new corpo- rate venturing fund with a $5m backing of California-based CardioDx. The CardioDx investment was made out of the $250m GE Healthymagination fund and is part of a larger round, which a regulatory filing seen by news provider www.pehub.com suggests could be worth more than $45.5m. The GE Healthymagination fund was launched in October to identify and partner healthcare technology companies as part of a $6bn programme by GE to boost healthy living.The fund is effectively an internal joint venture between the company’s financial services division, GE Capital, and GE Healthcare, a $17bn- turnover business based in the UK. The fund will invest in about 10 companies a year. Michael Jones, executive vice-president of business development at GE Healthcare, is a director of the Healthymagination fund along with Sherwood Dodge, executive president at GE Capital, Equity, the private equity arm of the group. Jones said: “GE Capital, Equity and GE Health- care have made a relatively large number of minority equity investments, either as part of a staged acquisition or for strategic relationships. Making the Healthymagination fund more formal was necessary because there are increasing opportunities and a need for GE to extend our innovation network and be outwardly focused. “Previously our investments were reactive, this fund will be more proactive and venture-orientated and also have the GE global research centre involved for technology assessment and sourcing companies.” He said the Healthymagination fund would seek to back companies where GE could develop a “meaningful” relationship and not just because they were good companies. For CardioDx this meant marketing and co-funding product development, Jones added. CardioDx develops genomic tests to aid in the assessment and tailoring of care of individuals with cardiovascular diseases such as coronary artery disease, cardiac arrhythmias and heart failure. GE Healthcare provides technologies for cardiovascular imaging and mon- itoring and said in a statement “the strategic fit between the two businesses combined with expanded capabilities in product research and development will accelerate the development of new high- value integrated technologies for the diagnosis and care of patients with suspected heart disease”. GE Healthcare has made between 25 and 30 minority stake investments in the past 12 years, according to Jones, and it was introduced to CardioDx by the company’s original backers, US venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, five years ago. However, GE Healthcare has also worked closely with another of…
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First investment illustrates value in working together
Jun 1, 2010 • James Mawson
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