The Daily Startup: Medical Investors’ Big Bets Push Some Fields to Records


This post is by Russ Garland from Venture Capital Dispatch


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dailystartup_D_20090806101628.jpgArt by Mike Lucas

Medical venture capitalists are taking aim at many of the most common and complex diseases, investing more than $1 billion each last year into treatments for conditions affecting the brain, heart, pancreas and immune system. It was the first time investment in four body systems crossed that threshold in a year, according to an analysis of health-care venture investment across 17 categories by VentureWire and Dow Jones VentureSource. All told, six fields drew record funding: blood, brain, muscles, pancreas, and the immune and reproductive systems.

Explore the interactive graphic The Human Body, According to Venture Capitalists

ALSO IN TODAY’S VENTUREWIRE (subscription required):

HungryRoot Inc., a startup peddling pasta made from vegetables and other healthy stand-ins for a foodie’s indulgences, has raised $3.7 million in a Series A round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Rocksbox Inc., which sends monthly subscription boxes of jewelry to raised $8.7 million in Series A funds.

Chromis Therapeutics Inc. has secured $3 million in seed financing to advance curative treatments for chronic hepatitis B infection, a condition that greatly increases risk for liver cancer.

YourMechanic Services Inc. has raised $24 million in a Series B round of funding for its app that lets people book house calls from certified auto-mechanics.

Mariana Technology Inc., a “demand generation” platform that uses artificial intelligence for business-to-business marketing, has raised $2 million in convertible notes, in a round led by Blumberg Capital that will close in March.

(VentureWire is a daily newsletter with comprehensive analysis of all the investments, deals and personnel moves involving startups and their venture backers. For a two-week trial, visit http://on.wsj.com/DJPEVCNews, scroll to the bottom and click “try for free.”)

Write to Russ Garland at russell.garland@wsj.com