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5 Family Offices Investing in Internet & Software Companies

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In utilizing the FINTRX Private Wealth Data Platform, which provides intel on thousands of direct deal transactions made by over 3,700+ family offices worldwide, we shine a spotlight on five influential family offices that have been actively investing in biotechnology companies. From funding life-saving innovations to driving transformative breakthroughs, these family offices are making a significant impact in the biotech landscape.


1. Lauder Partners, LLC

Lauder Partners LLC, also known as the Gary Lauder Family Office, is a private investment firm headquartered in Atherton, California. Established by Gary Lauder in 1990, an esteemed venture capitalist and philanthropist, the firm manages the financial affairs of the Lauder family. By employing long-term investment strategies, Lauder Partners aims to generate sustainable wealth and add value across a wide range of sectors.

Currently, Lauder Partners focuses on investing in private-sector companies through direct investment and venture capital funds. Historically, the firm has exhibited a selective approach to sourcing investments, with a preference for companies based in the United States and Canada. They show particular interest in sectors such as technology, digital media, health tech, clean tech and communications, emphasizing a desire to support companies driving radical innovations rather than incremental advancements. Their investment sizes typically range from $500K to $5M, illustrating their flexibility in supporting various stages of growth.

In recent years, Lauder Partners has made significant investments in the software sector. For instance, in March 2022, the firm participated in a series A funding round for OccamzRazor, a neuroscience company based in New York. OccamzRazor utilizes AI and deep learning to extract and analyze information from diverse data sources, with the goal being to develop treatments for brain aging-related diseases. Additionally, in March 2021, Lauder Partners participated in a venture round for Rezolve, a London-based mobile technology company. The funding round amounted to $20 million and supported Resolve's groundbreaking software that enables instant communication between companies and their customers. Other recent software investments by Lauder Partners include Balloon and AuDIGENT.

 

2. Highsage Ventures (Jacobson Family Office)

Highsage Ventures is a Boston, Massachusetts-based single-family office that was established in 2019 to oversee the wealth of Jonathon S. Jacobson and his family. Mr. Jacobson is a distinguished entrepreneur, hedge fund manager, philanthropist and private investor, best known for co-founding the hedge fund Highfields Capital Management LP in 1998 alongside his business partner Richard Grubman. The primary objective of Highsage Ventures is to collaborate with passionate and innovative entrepreneurs and management teams by providing them with a combination of capital injection, managerial expertise and operational guidance.

Today, Highsage Ventures invests in a diverse range of alternative asset classes, including private equity, venture capital and direct investments in private sector companies. The firm has traditionally adopted a global approach to sourcing investments, considering opportunities across various geographies. Highsage prides itself on being both sector and industry-agnostic, placing significant emphasis on portfolio diversification on a wide scale. The firm's single-source capital allows for flexible deal terms and relaxed investment horizons. By focusing on a small number of companies, the group aims to establish a deep understanding of each investment. Highsage upholds stringent criteria for the investments and partnerships they pursue, oftentimes waiting for compelling opportunities. That being said, some of their recent investment decisions have been directed toward the software and internet sectors.

In May 2023, Highsage Ventures participated in a venture funding round amounting to $33 million for Zageno, an e-commerce platform that enhances efficiency in the scientific research field. Zageno achieves this by providing a convenient platform for laboratories to procure all their necessary supplies, allowing scientists to allocate more time toward their research objectives. In September 2022, Highsage invested in a series A funding round for SINAI Technologies, the world's leading decarbonization platform. SINAI simplifies and streamlines the process for companies to undertake effective carbon reduction strategies, facilitating the fight against a large company's carbon footprint. Other recent software and internet investments by Highsage Ventures include About: Energy and Stage Technologies

 

3. Hoku Group (Simpson Family Office)

Hoku Group is a single-family office based in Wellington, New Zealand. The firm was established in 2009 to invest in and manage the wealth of Roman Simpson and his family. Simpson is a career entrepreneur and private investor known for founding and investing in multiple high-growth technology businesses. Most notably, in 2000, Simpson and a few other individuals founded Trade Me, now one of New Zealand's largest online auction websites, which was later sold to Fairfax six years later for $700 million.

Today, Hoku Group invests across a number of alternative asset classes, including venture capital and private sector companies through direct investments. The firm has historically taken a focused approach to sourcing its investments, typically investing in Oceania-based companies. Sectors and industries of interest include high-growth technology, software, e-commerce, platforms, software-as-a-service (SaaS), food & beverage and recycling, among others. The firm's single-source capital provides patient investment horizons and flexible deal terms.

In August 2022, Hoku Group participated in a Series A round for Atomic, totaling $4.5 million. Atomic is a software company working to enable in-app engagement between companies and their customers, making their apps more efficient and helpful. According to DigitalNation, Atomic raised this funding to expand its service into Australia, opening up a new market. In December 2021, Hoku Group participated in a follow-on venture round amounting to $3 million for a software company called Parkable. The company strives to make commutes easier for the employees of its customers by finding and reserving short-term or monthly public parking. According to Scoop, Parkable is also using the additional funds to expand into other markets such as the UK and the US. Hoku Group first invested $2.9 million in Parkable in August 2019. 

 

4. Generation Investment Management

Founded in 2004, Generation Investment Management is a London, U.K.-based multi-family office with an additional location in San Francisco, California, that manages the wealth of a select group of high-net-worth individuals and families. Offering a comprehensive range of family office services such as asset management, manager selection, portfolio construction, risk analysis and more, the firm operates as a private investment company. Generation Investment Management distinguishes itself as a "pure-play" sustainable investment manager, actively contributing to the growth of the ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) investment trend.

Currently, Generation Investment Management primarily focuses on investing in public and private equity companies through direct investments, taking a global approach to sourcing deals. The group has implemented an Asia Equity strategy to gain targeted exposure to the region. Sustainability is a core focus, particularly within the alternative energy sector. When selecting new portfolio companies, Generation Investment Management emphasizes the attractiveness, robustness and quality of the company's management team.

In recent times, the office has shown a notable interest in the software space. In November 2022, Generation participated in a series D round of funding for WEKA, a U.S.-based software company. The funding round, totaling $135 million and led by Generation Investment Management, aims to enable WEKA to achieve profitability, expand its market reach and scale up its operations. WEKA offers a data platform that streamlines the storage, management, processing and analysis of company data. Another series D funding round, totaling $90 million, was secured by Gloat, a workforce agility and talent marketplace platform. Gloat helps companies translate the language of work into the language of skills, facilitating successful career development for employees and effective navigation of change. Other Noteworthy software investments by Generation Investment Management include o9 Solutions and Andela.

 

5. KKCG (Karel Komarek Family Office)

KKCG is a single-family office based in Lucerne, Switzerland, with additional offices in Boston, Amsterdam, Prague, and London. Founded in 1992, the firm specializes in investing and managing the wealth of Karel Komarek and his family. Karel is a renowned businessman, entrepreneur and private investor, notably recognized for establishing the Sazka Group in 2016, later renamed Allwyn, which swiftly became the largest lottery owner in Europe. In addition to his business ventures, Karel is actively involved in philanthropy and established the Karel Komarek Family Foundation in 2017. The foundation focuses on promoting and developing initiatives in the areas of environment, public space, and education.

Currently, KKCG invests across various alternative asset classes including private equity, venture capital, real estate and direct investments. The firm adopts a global approach to sourcing deals and typically explores opportunities in different regions, with a preference for Europe-based companies. KKCG is particularly interested in sectors such as entertainment, information technologies and energy, among others. Within the energy sector, KKCG's focus lies in 21st-century energy, which involves identifying opportunities in energy sources, drilling and services, energy storage and energy trade. In terms of real estate investments, KKCG primarily engages in residential and commercial development, facility management and industrial management projects. However, the firm has recently expanded its portfolio with notable investments in the software and internet sectors.

In August 2022, KKCG acquired a majority stake in Musala Soft, a software development company headquartered in Sofia, Bulgaria. According to Mondaq, Musala Soft and Aricoma, a central European IT service provider, jointly acquired 100% of the shares of Musala. Furthermore, KKCG participated in a series B funding round for Mahana Therapeutics, an emerging leader in prescription digital therapeutics. Mahana aims to assist individuals with chronic health conditions by digitally providing physical and psychological support to customers. As reported by Finsmes in August 2021, the funding secured by Mahana will be used to launch the FDA-cleared prescription digital therapeutic Mahana and accelerate the development of several digital therapeutics targeting chronic health conditions.


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