Tattarang launches $250M health and biotech VC

tenmile
Tenmile Executive Chair Dr Steve Burnell (right) with Dr Deborah Rathjen, the Chief Executive of Carina Biotech, one of the VC’s first investments. Image – Tattarang.

Tenmile, a new venture capital business focused on businesses building new health technology and biotech companies, has been launched with a $250 million investment from the Forrest family’s Tattarang, one of the largest Australian diversified private investment groups.

Named after a permanent and reliable pool of clean water on the Ashburton River, Tenmile will focus on product and solution investments that address unmet medical needs supporting equitable and sustainable healthcare.

Given the fund’s evergreen seed and expansionary capital – unlike constrained closed-end funds – and the benefits of the strong international relationships enjoyed by Tattarang, Tenmile is in a unique position to support founders and teams.

Tenmile’s portfolio includes Emyria, a drug development company focused on medicinal cannabinoids and psychedelics, Carina Biotech, a pre-clinical immunotherapy company tasked with researching and developing chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapies to treat solid cancers and Rock Health, which advises major corporation on digital health and supports innovators in this space.

Tattarang Chairman Andrew Forrest said Tenmile is different to other Australian venture capital funds as it is dedicated to health technology, and can act in a fast manner due to not having obligations to investors and lending providers.

“Our laser-focused approach means we can help early-stage companies, researchers and entrepreneurs tap into seed funding to help them when they need it most, and then provide follow-on support, which is often unavailable through government or public sector funds,” Dr Forrest said.

Tenmile will help Australian researchers and Australian companies, through our extensive knowledge, global networks and dedicated capital to deliver life-changing products and medical treatments in a way that this country has not seen before.

Andrew Forrest, Tattarang Chairman

Tattarang Co-Chair Nicola Forrest added that Tenmile has a deep commitment to sustainable and ethical health treatments and technology.

“Tenmile is another demonstration of our focus in using capital as a force for good and will apply Tattarang’s responsible investment framework, including backing female-founded and led health businesses,” Mrs Forrest said.

Executive Chair Dr Steve Burnell is being led by Tenmile, who has extensive experience in building new and innovative healthcare businesses, including in biotech investment, mergers and acquisitions. Tenmile’s team includes experienced science, health technology and investment specialists.

“Although Tenmile is focused on opportunities in Australia and on building the broader health sciences commercialisation ecosystem here, we will continue to invest and partner in international markets both for the returns and to support our Australian investees to access markets and capital internationally,” Dr Burnell said.

Health technology for us encompasses areas as diverse as medical devices, diagnostics, biotech, pharmaceuticals, and even healthcare services. We are particularly excited about emerging opportunities in immunology, oncology, digital health, the microbiome and microbial resistance.

Steve Burnell, Tenmile Executive Chair

The company will be headquartered in Perth, with team members in Sydney and San Francisco. Rock Health, based in San Francisco, have partnered with Tenmile and is a partner in its largest digital health fund.