Harmonix Fund, the California-based venture capital firm founded by Maximilian Winter and Cofield Mundi, is completing the final stage of fundraising for the second fund, having already deployed multi-million dollar investments in 11 companies at the intersection of life sciences, healthcare, and deep tech. In their first fund in 2019, Harmonix invested in 30 companies. The third fund is scheduled to launch in July.
United States, 18th Apr 2023, King NewsWire – Maximilian Winter, Founder of Harmonix, has always been passionate about breakthrough technologies. Winter worked on Wall Street after he was diagnosed with Lyme disease. During a long patient journey, Maximilian did extensive research and realized that there was significant room for improvement in the prevention and treatment of diseases. “A lot of patients didn’t have a great experience, ” says Maximilian, “and it was clear that with this great science and technology, we could be better, faster, cheaper in treating not only Lyme disease but also other untreated human maladies out there.” He was eager to find companies addressing patient needs so that he and other patients didn’t have to wait another 20 years for a cure. A fourth-generation entrepreneur, Winter invested his money into solving the problem. He invited Cofield Mundi, a longtime friend and collaborator he met through a philanthropy event in 2013, and an experienced talent and operations manager to help build the fund. “I come from a medical family, and I was very excited about the offer,” says Cofield, an accomplished recording artist formerly signed to Sony and Universal Music and an Ambassador for Nelson Mandela’s 46664 Foundation. “From the start, we were set on creating a team of unique individuals at Harmonix, ” adds Cofield. Together with Maximilian she brainstormed the name for the fund, based on musical Harmonics adding the X for the techy feel. “Right from day 1, we were aspiring to harmonize healthcare”, says Maximilian.
The team navigated through the coronavirus crisis, identifying opportunities amidst the chaos. The lockdown prompted many individuals and organizations to view healthcare issues in a new light, with greater gravity and urgency. It made all things different.
Out of the family office, Maximilian and Cofield invited Krish Ramadurai, former Harvard & MIT researcher and multi-published author, to join Harmonix. “There are many people at ivy-league universities that live in the Ivory Tower,” says Maximilian, “but Krish has also been on the ground a lot. A super smart nerd, a kind of Tony Stark meets Bruce Wayne type.” While at Harvard, Krish worked in a think tank hand in hand with Nobel Laureate Economist Michael Kremer on USAID’s Innovation Ventures Fund. The fund had about 190 investments with a 5x return. “The team published seminal work on a quantifiable social impact framework with an alpha-generating portfolio. Krish scaled that diligence framework and combined it with a new thesis: the convergence of computation and biology, healthcare, and deep tech. We built it from the ground up.” Krish calls this multi-criteria seven-stage process a ‘fighter pilot checklist,’ encompassing over 230 points, and Harmonix is now empirically adding new impact factors.
Harmonix has shaped a pool of impressive experts and advisors from relevant fields. Every week, the team receives approximately 50 applications from new companies. It assesses various aspects, including scientific and technological features, management capabilities, and market potential. They are explicitly searching for solutions that solve critical problems in rapidly growing markets and are defensible through intellectual property. “The evaluation has to be reasonable,” says Maximilian, “founders have to have not just expertise but ideally experience, and not only a high IQ but also EQ and grit.” Winter knows a proper balance: he’s been practicing meditation and self-reflection for years, which helps him make critical decisions.
Right before the pandemic hit, 2019 saw an accelerated convergence of deep technology, life sciences, and healthcare. Harmonix recognized and accentuated this trend. Today the Fund’s Bio portfolio (totaling 21 companies) features Bit.Bio, a platform which is programming the software of life by reprogramming human stem cells into any cell type at scale for research, drug discovery, and cell therapy; Volumetric (acquired), a Houston-based 3D bioprinting platform for drug research and human organ replacements; and Insilico Medicine, an AI drug discovery and development platform for treating cancer and age-related diseases.
Harmonix invested in Insilico Medicine before they made a groundbreaking achievement: they pioneered the world’s first fully end-to-end AI-designed drug in clinical trials. “For the first time in history,” says Ramadurai, “scientists were able to create a biopharmaceutical asset from scratch using artificial intelligence and integrate it into humans. They did it in under two years for under 2 million, where it would traditionally take 30 to 50 million dollars in upwards of 5 to 8 years, right?”
Harmonix’s Health portfolio (totaling 10 companies) features xCures, an AI-based precision medicine platform for clinical oncology trials, an FDA-approved holographic augmented reality technology for cardiac surgery SentiAR, and CareSyntax, a digital surgery platform to improve patient outcomes, founded by Björn von Siemens of the Siemens family. With surgery being the primary revenue generator for hospitals, this ‘plug-and-play’ solution optimizes patients’ pre-operative, intra-operative, and post-operative care management, resulting in up to 66% cost savings. “The future is in the companies like CareSyntax, which can be plugged into the current infrastructure and get to work right away as opposed to waiting months and months,” state the Harmonix partners.
The deep tech portfolio (totaling 8 companies) includes Atlas Space Operations, a cloud-based command and control system for satellite data transmission, and Loft Orbital, an end-to-end space mission services platform that launched the world’ first commercial red source satellite in space. The company is building a faster, simpler path to orbit, letting its customers rapidly deploy and operate their payloads on reliable, high-performance satellites at unprecedented simplicity and affordability.
Over the years, Harmonix Fund has built an impressive network of 250 co-investors and deal-sourcing networks, including academic institutions, their spinouts, and government institutions. There’s more to come. While the Fund remains focused on the three main pillars – life sciences, healthcare, and deep tech – the partners don’t deny the opportunistic aspects of the business and keep their eyes open. “Investing into healthcare is absolutely crucial,” says Mundi. And with the ongoing convergence, there are potentially more niches to explore. “The goal of entrepreneurship is solving a problem many people face,” says Maximilian. “Venture capital is both a science and an art form; for us, it’s about testing hypotheses and taking an evidence-based approach to identify and scale technologies to improve humanity,” adds Krish.
Partnering with Harmonix Fund today provides an opportunity to participate in the topical healthcare investment and development environment. The life sciences, healthcare, and deep tech sectors offer a trillion-dollar market potential. With its portfolio companies from Strateos to Bit.Bio to Tarana, in less than 3 years the fund has achieved 10 major breakthroughs. Harmonix currently has over 50 therapeutic clinical indications across biotech and MedTech, targeting an addressable patient population of more than 1 billion people. There is one FDA approval, with over 20 more currently in clinical trials. Harmonix’s portfolio companies aim to address unmet patient needs in the 100s of millions, creating over 2,000 jobs and making treatments, preventative care, and healthcare infrastructure more accessible to everyone while reducing R&D costs and timelines. A unique approach to measuring the impact in the bio/ healthcare vertical is a signature feature of Harmonix. The innovation paradigms the Fund is focusing on lead to acceleration of clinical milestones and augment the impact of the investments and returns. Joining the Harmonix Fund today means being at the forefront of revolutionizing the biotech industry.
Organization: Harmonix Fund
Contact Person: Cofield Mundi
Country: United States
Release Id: 1804233165
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Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No FUNDS MANAGEMENT journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.