Lindy Fishburne is executive director of Breakout Labs, a San Francisco-based venture for almost six years. This firm is associated with Thiel Foundation has raised $60.1 million for a maiden venture fund, according to a filing with the SEC. This foundation has a history of supporting many early-stage food science, clean energy and biomedicine companies.
In May, Breakout Ventures declared that its funding had reached $46.5 million. The filing does not list a target for the fund but notes 48 LPs have made commitments so far.
The main idea behind this was to support scientist entrepreneurs for a year or two so that they might reach the next critical milestone of their research. And after all, if they succeed in attracting more investors afterward, then it will become more helpful.
Breakout Labs has supported one of the first platforms from its seed capital, a tissue imaging platform called 3Scan, which has also raised up to $20.7 million from Lux Capital, Data Collective and other investors. On the other hand, Modern Meadow, which grows leather in a lab and has been partnering with fashion companies and tanneries, has raised $53.5 million from investors.
Fishburne declined to say if Thiel is an anchor investor in the fund, but she said that the Thiel Foundation is a limited partner, along with other “family offices and institutions interested in building a future powered by science,” including DCVC co-founders Matt Ocko and Zachary Bogue, S-Cubed Capital and Dolby Family Ventures.
Fishburne also mentioned that they own some stakes in 3Scan and Modern Meadow and also in two other companies Cortexyme and Immusoft, who has also got the funding from Breakout Labs.
Generally, Fishburne says that Breakout Ventures plans to focus on Series A- and Series B-stage “deep science” companies, and that it plans to leverage the Breakout Labs’ pipeline. “We know those companies better than anyone else and have seen them execute from the very beginning,” she notes.
Cortexyme has to date raised at least $23 million, including from Pfizer. The company works on therapies for Alzheimer’s disease and other degenerative disorders. Also, Immusoft has raised roughly $5 million and is a gene therapy company that reprograms a patient’s own B cells to attack diseases like HIV.
Fishburne also said, “The team will occasionally invest outside of that pipeline.” In fact, she estimates that between 20 and 30 percent of investments from this new fund will be made in teams outside the universe of Breakout Labs companies.
Furthermore, to meet their goals, Fishburne, Parthasarathy and Moore continue to manage Breakout Labs. Every year they choose 6-10 new deep science companies to support.