Monday, January 11, 2021

Echo Health Ventures Introduces New Innovation Alliance Bringing Together Three National Health Care Leaders to Collectively Invest in Transforming Health Care


The Alliance will seek to invest in health care technology, health care services and digital health companies that are bringing innovative solutions and new capabilities to market and will invest across these companies' development stages.  The Alliance continues and builds upon Echo's strategic investing model, which efficiently connects market-driven innovations with the scale of innovative health care enterprises like Cambia, Mosaic and USAble. Echo provides not only capital but also valuable health care market insights, sector expertise and active engagement with each portfolio company to grow and scale their business.


Since its founding in 2016, Echo's experienced team of nationally recognized health care investment and industry professionals has worked in partnership with its parent companies (Cambia and Mosaic) to deliver strong financial returns and a track record of success including:


  • A deep portfolio of 20+ innovative portfolio companies;

  • Multiple IPOs and considerable financial value created across its portfolio; and,

  • More than 30 collaborations between its more than 20 portfolio companies and Echo's parent companies to drive health care transformation.

USAble Corporation serves its parent company, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, by identifying and investing in strategic capabilities and products designed to serve the needs of the businesses and individuals served by Arkansas Blue Cross.  USAble Corporation has a long history of making investments into building partnerships to supply ancillary insurance products to groups, serve the provider community via electronic data interchange and clearing house activities, and serve self-funded employers by creating curated network options through enhanced data analytics.

"At a time like this, when the need for innovation in health care is so urgent, we are excited to launch the Echo Innovation Alliance, a new model of highly strategic venture investment, in collaboration with such respected, progressive health care leaders," said Echo Health Ventures Chief Executive Officer Rob Coppedge. "The Echo Innovation Alliance further validates Echo's unique model and will accelerate our work with leading entrepreneurs and management teams to scale their innovations nationally."

"As a health solutions company, we are excited to support those we serve, improving their health and well-being as well as their health care experience," said Curtis Barnett, president and CEO of Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield and a member of the USAble Corporation Board of Directors. "Every day, we are committed to finding ways to solve for the challenges that our members and health care system faces. By joining the Echo Innovation Alliance, we will have access to deep health care industry knowledge and funding, which allows us to have greater speed to bring critical innovations to market for the benefit of members, providers and communities."

"This is an exciting time for our collaboration with Echo Health Ventures, which is demonstrating innovation in action," said Jared Short, Cambia CEO and Echo board member. "As one of Echo's parents, we are committed to work with this new Alliance and its portfolio to bring these innovative solutions to market faster to serve people, their families, communities and providers."

"The Echo Innovation Alliance strengthens Echo's mission to improve the health and well-being of our communities," said Tunde Sotunde, Echo board member and president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. "Through the strategic investments the Alliance enables, we will find even more opportunities to drive innovation in health care for the benefit of patients, providers and payers."

About Echo Health Ventures and the Echo Innovation Alliance
Echo Health Ventures drives health care transformation through hands-on, purpose-driven strategic venture capital and growth equity investing. The Echo Innovation Alliance is a strategic investment collaboration between Echo Health Ventures and USAble Corporation. For more information, please visit www.echohealthventures.com.

SOURCE Echo Health Ventures

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Z3Partners announced First Close of Tech & Digital Fund

MUMBAI, India, Jan. 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Z3Partners Tech Fund (www.Z3Partners.com) announces its First Close of US$ 14 million and its investments in Cyfirma (www.cyfirma.com), a leading Cyber Threat Intelligence Software Start-up and DealShare (www.dealshare.in), a leading Social Commerce-led online grocery start-up. [1],[2]


The opportunity in Tech and Digital is taking leadership in India with significant smartphone (600 million), internet (700 million) and eCommerce (US$ 150 billion in the next 5 years) adoption to greater government support and venture capital (US$ 10 billion) and public equity market interest (current US$ 70 billion growing by another US$ 50 billion in 24 months). Tech and Digital Entrepreneurs and Investors will see huge upside over the next 25 years.


Z3Partners is Founded by Gautam Patel, the Co-Founder of Zodius Technology Fund and Zodius Technology Opportunities Fund (investee Companies include BigBasket, Pepperfry, OfBusiness, MedGenome, etc.). He has been investing in Tech and Digital Start-ups for 20 years with a unique approach as an investor-operator in building strong relationships with high quality entrepreneurs who are building market leading tech and digital businesses. Z3Partners co-founding team consists of Anand Batra, ex leadership at Pepperfry, Yusuf Allana, ex Finance Director at Colgate Palmolive, and Avinash Kapur, ex Deloitte.


Z3Partners is a US$ 100 million target Tech and Digital Fund that will invest in early-growth start-ups in Fintech, eCommerce, B2B Commerce, Software/SaaS, Data Analytics, Agritech, etc. The team comprises of 70 years of combined investment and leadership operating experience and been instrumental in helping entrepreneurs build large, profitable and sustainable businesses. They are known to back early trends and discover teams and businesses that represent quality-at-scale and good governance, resulting in rewarding investors with consistent and noteworthy investment returns. 


Z3Partners leads with an investment thesis approach with deep knowledge and understanding of their investment sectors; with this they get access to the best entrepreneurs and companies that partner with them because of their operating and domain experience and reputation of trust (#founderstrust)

Contact us


Gautam Patel
Managing Partner
[email protected]


Anand Batra
Executive Director
[email protected]


Telephone: +9122-6280-8865
Website: www.z3partners.com
Tweet: @z3partners
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/z3partners-tech-fund


SOURCE Z3Partners



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Thrasio Tops $1 Billion in Total Capital Raised, Secures $500 million in Fresh Capital

BOSTON and NEW YORK, Jan. 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Digital global consumer goods company Thrasio today announced its latest financing, a $500 million senior debt facility, bringing the total amount of capital raised by the industry leader to over $1 billion. The financing provided a fitting capstone to 2020, a year in which Thrasio exceeded $500 million in sales, generated over $100 million in profit, and delivered a Thrasio product to nearly one out of every ten American households.


Thrasio acquires successful Amazon third party businesses and direct-to-consumer (DTC) ecommerce brands and seamlessly integrates them into its digital consumer goods platform, which manages nearly 14,000 products. Leveraging this platform, Thrasio has grown acquired businesses rapidly, achieving a 156% annualized growth rate of EBITDA while propelling high quality (but lesser known) products ahead of legacy products with familiar brand names. With the new capital, Thrasio will broaden the scope of its investments and acquire larger companies.


Co-founder and co-CEO Carlos Cashman says it is the right time to double-down. "We have perfected both our M&A and operations models--now it's about driving leverage from our proven flywheel and continuing to build complementary capabilities. This investment also enables us to acquire much larger ecommerce companies - up to $200 million in revenue - adding another dimension to our capabilities. The funds will also accelerate our (already rapidly scaling) DTC and product launch businesses."


"This is Thrasio's sixth successful raise in the last 14 months, a pace which reflects the accelerating growth of our opportunity set," adds co-founder and co-CEO Josh Silberstein. "In the past two years, Thrasio has grown faster than any company in history - but, this is really just the beginning of our story. The success we've had to date is gratifying, but Thrasio's real legacy will come from reinventing the very idea of what an omnichannel retailer is - and, in the process, redefining the $13.7 trillion market for consumer products."


JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., The Private Credit Group of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P. and RBC Capital Markets are joined in the deal by the Strategic Credit Group within Oaktree Capital Management, L.P., Bain Capital Credit, Barclays, BlackRock, BofA Securities, Inc., Credit Suisse Loan Funding LLC, Monroe Capital LLC, Morgan Stanley Private Credit, and UBS Securities LLC.


About Thrasio


As the largest acquirer of Amazon FBA brands globally, Thrasio boasts a massive innovation and experimentation platform that brings high-quality products to market across digital marketplaces and retailers globally. With the experience of evaluating more than 5,000 Amazon companies, acquiring nearly 100 top-rated brands, and managing the scale of nearly 14,000 category-leading products, Thrasio's brands are more profitable, grow faster, and outperform almost every other seller on Amazon. Under Thrasio's management, Amazon native brands compete with top household name labels, quickly becoming the trusted items that consumers turn to for their everyday needs, including the URBNfit Exercise Ball, the leading Anti-Fatigue Floor Mats by Sky MatsArt Supplies from Crafts 4 All, and the fastest growing Odor Eliminator & Pet Deodorizer on Amazon by Angry Orange. For more information, visit https://thras.io.


SOURCE Thrasio



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NuProbe Closes $42M Fundraising

HOUSTON and SHANGHAI, Jan. 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- NuProbe, a genomics and molecular diagnostics company specialized in ultrasensitive sequencing panels, announces the closing of its oversubscribed $42M fundraising. The lead investors for this financing round are BioTrack Capital and Yonghua Capital. The proceeds will be used to expand the commercial team in both the US and China, develop new NGS products, and file for regulatory approval in China for NuProbe's clinical products. 


"NuProbe has made great strides in 2020 in R&D, manufacturing, and commercialization.  Furthermore, we have established a fast and efficient management workflow for the 100+ members of our team," said Yingshuang Chai, co-founder and CEO of NuProbe.  "We are very grateful for all of our investors' support, and look forward to using this capital to accelerate our new product launch and market penetration."


"NuProbe's unique NGS technologies and its management's proven commercial execution position NuProbe to be a leader in precision oncology and reproductive health in the coming years," says Kevin Chen, founding partner of Biotrack Capital.  "My fund and I are very excited to be part of the journey with NuProbe."


"There is exponentially increasing awareness and demand for non-invasive liquid biopsies," says Wen Chen, partner of healthcare investment at Yonghua Capital.  "NuProbe's differentiated technology platform allows liquid biopsy to be broadly offered to people of all walks of life, in China, in the US, and across the world."


In addition to BioTrack Capital and Yonghua Capital who co-led the financing, Taifu Capital, Panlin Capital, Juming Capital, and Tuobang Capital also participated in the investment.  BMD China served as financial advisors for this financing round.  Additionally, NuProbe's previous investors Sequoia Capital China, Ruomu Capital, and Serica Partners also co-invested in the deal.


"Sequencing blood plasma samples locally at the hospital is critical to rapid turnaround, in order to inform timely therapeutic decisions for cancer," said David Walt, a member of NuProbe's scientific advisory board (SAB) and the scientific co-founder of Illumina.  "NuProbe's allele enrichment technologies enable lower-throughput NGS instruments found in hospital labs to perform such liquid biopsies."


George Church, another member of NuProbe's SAB, adds, "Despite the consistently decreasing sequencing costs, many clinical and research sequencing applications such as those involving minimum residual disease (MRD) with tumor fraction of less than 1 part in ten thousand are not currently affordable.  NuProbe provides a pathway to ultrasensitive MRD detection by sequencing."


In the past 12 months, NuProbe has signed a number of partnership and licensing deals with internationally renowned companies in molecular diagnostics and life sciences, including Illumina, Qiagen, Oxford Nanopore, and the Wego Group.  NuProbe has begun to partner with pharma companies for clinical research through its Augury custom NGS panels.  In the reproductive health field in China, NuProbe has built collaborations with most of the top hospitals and is the leader in infertility testing. 


"We are very encouraged to see that NuProbe's products and services are gaining adoption in the United States, in China, and across the world" said David Zhang, co-founder and Head of Innovation of NuProbe.  "We look forward to further serving the needs of our clinical and research customers in 2021, and anticipate the release of several new NuProbe products through the year."


About NuProbe Global
NuProbe is a cutting-edge genomics and molecular diagnostics company with revolutionary molecular diagnostic technologies to improve the sensitivity of sequencing mutations and copy number variations by over 10-fold. NuProbe has sites in Houston, USA, Shanghai, China and Suzhou, China. NuProbe's vision is to offer affordable, timely, and accurate disease state information to enable precision medicine and improve patient outcomes.


About BioTrack Capital
Founded in 2017, BioTrack Capital is a dedicated healthcare venture capital firm focused on investing and incubating innovative life science companies in China. We are more than just capital providers. We invest in long-term partnerships with China's leading healthcare entrepreneurs to build the next generation of world class companies


About Yonghua Capital
Yonghua Capital is one of China's most competitive private equity investors. As the primary investment vehicle of Yongjin Group, Yonghua Capital has rich experience in private equity investment and commits to become the most trustworthy financial service provider in the China capital market. So far Yonghua Capital has invested in over 100 outstanding companies, among which nearly 60 have been listed with stock exchanges. A seasoned team of professionals in industry research, finance, law and related regulatory policies, as well as the long-term cooperation with China's well-known underwriters, law firms, accounting firms and other intermediaries, Yonghua Capital has succeeded in finding the undervalued companies and obtaining returns from the capital market.


About Sequoia China
The Sequoia Capital team helps daring founders build legendary companies. In partnering with Sequoia Capital, companies benefit from our unmatched community and the lessons we've learned over 49 years. As "The Entrepreneurs Behind The Entrepreneurs", Sequoia Capital China focuses on three sectors: TMT, healthcare and consumer/service. Over the past 16 years we've had the privilege of working with approximately 600 companies in China.


Media Contact:
Jane Nie
NuProbe USA
[email protected]


SOURCE NuProbe



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Medical Guardian Receives Growth Investment from Water Street Healthcare Partners



With the number of Americans aged 65 years and older increasing along with seniors' desire to live in their own homes as they age, demand for Medical Guardian's medical alert services continues to rise.  The company is one of the nation's leading PERS providers with more than 160,000 active subscribers across the country. Medical Guardian offers a suite of connected care solutions that enable seniors to live their day-to-day lives safely and independently.  Its products are fully integrated with customer support services, providing seniors with 24/7 protection and deploying emergency personnel if an alert is received. 



"Medical Guardian has developed our products and services to meet the needs of a growing senior population that is focused, now more than ever, on aging in place," said Geoff Gross, founder and CEO, Medical Guardian. "Water Street's investment strongly positions Medical Guardian to strategically expand our health care partnerships and services, and advance our mission of empowering our customers to live their lives without limits."


He added, "Water Street has an impressive track record of investing in successful health care services companies and building them into market leaders. I recognized right away the caliber of their team and their depth of knowledge in health care."

Medical Guardian has grown rapidly since its founding in 2005.  Named to Inc. Magazine's Fastest Growing Private Companies list for the past eight years, the company is a recognized leader in direct-to-consumer PERS strategies.  Working with Water Street, Medical Guardian will invest in acquisitions and organic initiatives to expand its health care partnerships and channels, and extend its offering into complementary services.

"Medical Guardian has demonstrated that its senior health solutions are a leading choice for consumers directly selecting their PERS provider," said Max Mishkin, partner, Water Street.  "Working with Geoff and his team, we will collaborate with organizations across the health care industry to aggressively expand the company's presence, and we will pursue strategic acquisitions and additional growth initiatives to further enhance the company's suite of offerings."

Financial terms of Water Street's investment in Medical Guardian are not being disclosed. Imperial Capital served as the exclusive financial advisor to Medical Guardian.

About Water Street
Water Street is a strategic investor focused exclusively on health care. The firm has a strong record of building market-leading companies across key growth sectors in health care. It has worked with some of the world's leading companies on its investments including Humana, Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic and Walgreen Co. Water Street's team is comprised of industry executives and investment professionals with decades of experience investing in and operating global health care businesses. The firm is headquartered in Chicago. For more information about Water Street, visit waterstreet.com.

About Medical Guardian 
Founded in 2005, Medical Guardian is a leading provider of innovative senior health solutions.  The company offers a full suite of connected care medical alert systems that empower older adults to live a life without limits. A member of the National Aging in Place Council, Medical Guardian is headquartered in Philadelphia and provides nationwide support to more than 160,000 aging Americans who are ready to take on the next chapter of life while remaining safe in their own home. Whether it's an in-home system, mobile device with GPS/Wi-Fi capabilities, or an all-in-one wearable medical alert smartwatch, Medical Guardian has the personal medical alert device to meet an array of needs and lifestyles. For more information about Medical Guardian, visit medicalguardian.com.

SOURCE Medical Guardian


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Brandzooka Appoints Mark IV Capital's Michael Beaudoin To Board Of Directors


Beaudoin and his colleagues recognized that Brandzooka's model of giving small and midsize agencies and in-house marketing teams access to powerful digital advertising technology was a huge opportunity. Brandzooka makes it possible for companies of any size to place targeted ads on primetime TV and premium digital properties worldwide for as little as $5.



Mark IV was also struck by Brandzooka's explosive growth in 2020. The company's monthly recurring revenue has increased five-fold since the beginning of the year.


Beaudoin directs and manages Mark IV Capital's investments in private equities, including venture capital rounds, and is focused on Series A and Series B.  Specifically, he's been focused on technology companies that measurably improve productivity for business and government customers. Prior to joining Mark IV, Beaudoin participated in AT&T's Leadership Development Program, where he rotated through various management positions across the company and started the AT&T Aspire Accelerator.

"Our team is looking to invest in platforms that empower a new generation of companies, and we found Brandzooka's story to be compelling right away. Led by CEO Kelly Dotseth, the team is fantastic, and we're confident that they'll continue to execute at the highest level," Beaudoin said. "It's also clear that the pandemic has accelerated the shift to consumption of OTT media, making it essential for small and midsize agencies and brands of any size to leverage video-advertising technology in order to reach their customers in a cost-effective manner. Brandzooka is well-positioned to reach a broad range of targeted customers and help brands and/or agencies improve the ROI of digital campaigns by providing easy-to-use tools."

"We started the company to empower people and teams who haven't historically had access to the digital media table," said Alex Bogusky, an investor in and cofounder of Brandzooka. "At a time of economic upheaval, Brandzooka's growth is accelerating, fueled in no small part by people who've decided to dust off their marketing degrees and start an ad agency instead of driving an Uber."

Beaudoin joins Dotseth, Bogusky and Adam Edelman (who contributed to the Series A through his fund, Boulder Heavy Industries) to round out Brandzooka's Board of Directors. The $5.6 million Series A round led by Mark IV Capital brought the company's total funding to $10.1 million since it was founded in 2015.

About Brandzooka
Brandzooka believes in a world where the size of your idea matters more than the size of your budget. We place the power of digital advertising into the hands of any company or agency with any size marketing budget. Our advertising platform makes it easy and cost-effective for anyone to execute highly targeted video and digital advertising campaigns across the biggest sites online and on TV. We democratize online and connected digital advertising by giving users large and small the same access and reach formerly available only to giant advertisers—reaching every channel and every network. Visit www.brandzooka.com for more.

About Mark IV Capital
Mark IV Capital, Inc. is a privately held boutique investment firm founded in 1974. The company develops or acquires commercial real estate and private equity assets utilizing a disciplined long-term approach to deploy capital in markets where existing drivers will deliver enhanced alpha returns. Headquartered in Newport Beach, California, with offices in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Texas, and Northern California, as well, Mark IV Capital's vision is to be a world-class developer and provider of working environments for businesses. For additional information, please visit www.MarkIV.com.

Contact: Steve Sapka, (305) 479-5208, [email protected]

SOURCE Brandzooka

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Leading Autonomous Mobile Robot Company Quicktron Completes C+ Funding Led by KION Group and Prosperity7 Ventures for Technology to Free Human Beings from Manual Handling


Underpinning the successful financing is impressive growth numbers from Quicktron in recent years. Operating income from 2017 to 2019 increased nearly tenfold and the total volume of orders in 2020 is expected to be more than 300 percent that of 2019. Reports have also been made public that Quicktron will be launching a sci-tech innovation board listing plan next year, gearing the company up to be the first listed  AMR stock.



As a pioneer in the AMR industry, Wei Yang and Quicktron have witnessed the development process of the whole space from the outset. Given that the global penetration rate of AMR is as low as one percent, Wei Yang believes there is still an untapped industry worth 500 billion CNY. Growth in this sector has also accelerated as the COVID-19 pandemic has fueled the need to reduce reliance on manual labor in logistics. This has been particularly prominent in Europe where e-commerce has been growing rapidly as consumers develop a habit for online shopping, forcing more and more retailers to make the switch to online.


Technical development in the space is supported by sophisticated technologies such as 5G and autonomous driving becoming increasingly commonplace. These tools allow for high performance, low cost, and rapid iteration, making R&D an absolute priority for companies looking to stay ahead of the competition. For Quicktron, six years of practical experience working with clients and resources have allowed them to stay at the forefront of technical innovation. Current industry offerings either work very well in self-operated warehouses or are good at system integrations; As a leading manufacturer and solutions provider of intralogistics AI-powered robots, Quicktron offers industry-standard products across end-to-end services, with solutions aimed at solving specific pain points whilst being widely applicable.

In 2020, Quicktron launched its product-level intelligent robotic solution, Quick Pick, which is currently being used in e-commerce, retail, footwear, manufacturing, and other industries. The solution is equipped with highly efficient and stable robots that bear a high storage capacity. It also features small, lightweight, efficient, flexible, and cost-effective intelligent mobile handling robots that work well in intensive storage environments where it can carry and transfer items for on-site operators. This combination effectively reduces the need for manual operation to achieve high efficiency and versatility, easing the labor intensity and boosting overall efficiency during the traffic surge in storage handling, order picking and item return requests.

About Quicktron

Quicktron Intelligent Technology Co., Ltd was founded in Shanghai, China in 2014. By providing various types of AMRs and backstage operating systems for multiple models, devices and scenes, Quicktron enables enterprise customers to achieve intelligentization, automation and digitization for their internal logistics, helping them to reduce costs, increase efficiency and broaden capability boundaries. The company's vision is use indoor intelligent driving solutions to free human beings from manual handling.

www.flashhold.com

About KION Group

The KION Group is one of the world's leading providers for industrial trucks and  supply chain solutions. Its portfolio encompasses industrial trucks, such as forklift trucks and warehouse equipment, as well as integrated automation technology and software solutions for the optimization of supply chains, including all related services. Across more than 100 countries worldwide, the KION Group's solutions improve the flow of material and information within factories, warehouses, and distribution centers. The Group, which is included in the MDAX, is the largest manufacturer of industrial trucks in Europe and the second largest worldwide in terms of units sold in 2019. It is also a leading provider of automation technology based on revenue in 2019.

www.kiongroup.com/de/

About Prosperity7 Ventures

Prosperity7 Ventures is the diversified growth fund of Aramco Ventures, a subsidiary of Aramco, the world's leading integrated energy and chemicals company. The fund's name derives from 'Prosperity Well', the 7th oil well drilled in Saudi Arabia and the first to strike oil. Taking forward this pioneering history, we invest globally, with a long term-view, in breakthrough technologies and transformational business models that will bring prosperity and positive impact on a vast scale. 

www.P7VC.com

SOURCE Quicktron


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Echo Health Ventures Introduces New Innovation Alliance Bringing Together Three National Health Care Leaders to Collectively Invest in Transforming Health Care

The EIA further validates Echo's unique model and will accelerate our work with leading entrepreneurs -Rob Coppedge, CEO Tweet this The ...