Dallas-based venture capital firm GPG Ventures has opened its third Texas office in Austin and added veteran Austin business leader Claire England to lead that office as investment partner.
“We’re thrilled for Claire to open our Austin office and add her executive leadership and investing talent to the GPG Ventures team. Not only has she been an integral part of Austin’s startup ecosystem, but she is also a seasoned investor who brings unique expertise and a broad network to our deeply experienced team,” founding Partner Carl Soderstrom said in a statement.
Also known as Green Park & Golf Ventures, GPG originally was formed after Soderstrom and Clay Heighten, M.D., sold two healthcare companies to Texas Health Resources, a $3.8 billion healthcare system. Together, Heighten and Soderstrom had four healthcare exits with a 45 percent IRR.
In 2011, they partnered with JR Garcia to start GPG Ventures. Lauren Tyra, Ph.D., serves as the firm’s Chief Scientific Officer. GPG Ventures is built on more than 60 years of operational and financial expertise with an extensive syndicate investor network.
Roughly three-quarters of the portfolio is in healthcare and current sectors span medical devices, therapeutics, digital health, healthcare diagnostics, consumer health and other technologies, such as AI/ML, the firm said.
‘A natural evolution for GPG’
Soderstrom said Austin was a natural choice for the expansion.
“With its relatively new medical school and dynamic startup community, we believe that Austin is a natural evolution for GPG, and we’re excited about the opportunity to build a deeper relationship with the business community there through Claire,” Soderstrom said.
GPG Ventures now has three offices across Texas, including its Dallas headquarters; a Houston office, opened in 2019 by managing partner Dan Parsley and principal John Leader; and the new Austin office.
GPG Ventures also has an extensive syndicate network of business leaders and active investors in Dallas and Houston, which includes high-net-worth individuals and family offices.
GPG Ventures said its investments include Supergoop!, LTK, MicroTransponder, Radformation, Brainspace, Hypergiant, Alto, Gregor Diagnostics, Take Command Health, Genomenon and Carpe. Other significant investments and partnerships include Health Wildcatters, TheraNova and 29 Acres.
Women’s health and FemTech focus
GPG said that England is experienced in investing in all sectors, but in particular brings a healthcare investing background to the firm, having served as a partner in Portfolia’s FemTech Fund I, the first fund ever to focus solely on women’s health and wellness.
It has both the first FemTech unicorn, Maven Clinic, in Fund I and the largest FemTech portfolio in the nation.
England also led the Austin-based Central Texas Angel Network from 2014 to 2019 to become the No. 1 most active angel investing group in the nation. Its second largest investing vertical under her leadership was healthcare.
“Texas is one of the best places in the world to build and invest in startups, and GPG Ventures is an integral part of that ecosystem. Supporting innovation that improves our lives and planet matters deeply to me, so joining GPG Ventures with its focus largely on healthcare is an opportunity to expand that impact in Austin. I couldn’t be more excited and honored to be a part of this exceptional team,” England said in a statement.
GPG Ventures invests out of two active funds and via SPVs. It is also the founding member of a healthcare-focused accelerator and incubator; in aggregate, GPG has supported more than 200 companies through direct portfolio investments and accelerator activities.
The firm typically invests in U.S.-based startups, from seed to Series B, primarily in the healthcare sector with select investments in other industries.
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