Diōko Ventures, in partnership with Nashville, TN based venture capital firm, FCA Venture Partners, announced this week the launch of its’ first fund, Dioko Health Ventures I, LP. The Fund is seeking to raise $15-25 million to invest in companies primarily in and around Western North Carolina and the Triad.
Diōko will be managed and supported by FCA and led by Matthew King, Managing Partner of FCA. Accompanying King, FCA’s Co-Managing Partner, John Burch, and CFO, Nancy Allen, will provide fund oversight and administrative support. The investment committee for the Fund will be led by King, together with Tom Hearn, CEO of Novarus Healthcare, and Todd Johnson, co-founder and Board member with KeraNetics, LLC. Dioko will work closely with Inmar, Inc., Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, local universities, academic medical centers, and accelerators to help foster, grow and fund the local healthcare entrepreneurial ecosystem.
“In recent years, FCA Venture Partners has invested in two early stage companies in the area,” said King. “There are many signs of early stage investing opportunities on the rise in this part of North Carolina and we are delighted to deploy institutional capital in the area.”
The Fund will make 10-12 investments in Seed to Early stage companies in the healthcare IT and service sectors with commitments of $500K to $2M. Diōko anticipates that about half of the companies in the Fund will be based in Western North Carolina.
“I’m very excited about the potential for the Diōko Health Ventures fund,” said Advisory Board member Don Flow. “There are an increasing number of healthcare IT and healthcare services companies being started in our region, but there is no organized capital available to fund the growth of these companies. Matt King and his FCA team have a long and successful track record of investing in early stage healthcare companies, and will be a great addition to our healthcare entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
Diōko's deal sourcing team will be led by Andrew Bouldin, Principal at FCA. “We review over 400 start-up companies a year at FCA, with the majority in Healthcare IT,” said Bouldin. “With many of the deals too early for FCA to consider, I look forward to the opportunity to financing some of these earlier stage companies.”
“Early-stage seed funding is crucial for startups,” said Eric Tomlinson, president of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. “The Dioko fund is a critical shot in the arm for building a start up environment in the Innovation Quarter and our city that will support the growth of our innovation economy.”