Baleon Capital, a one-year-old venture capital firm started by investment veteran Jon Kaiden, closed its first fund to invest in pre-Series A and Series A companies focused on health and medical care in the United States.
Before starting the Miami-based firm, Kaiden was a founding member and principal of Sopris Capital, where he told TechCrunch his track record of internal return on revenue landed him in the top 95th percentile of all early-stage funds. Baleon is a mash-up of the names of Kaiden’s four children: Brooke, Allie, Leo and Nicole.
Though he did not disclose the fund amount, Kaiden did say he was targeting $100 million for the fund. He expects to initially be able to invest in between eight and 12 companies with $5 million to $10 million in check sizes. If he is able to get the $100 million, Kaiden plans for nearly three-fourths to go into initial investments and the rest for follow-on or new opportunities that come in.
Despite the pandemic, the past year was a “great environment to raise a fund,” he said. After running Sopris for 18 years, he thought it was time to raise a fund especially targeting the healthcare industry, which saw a boom.
“The pandemic tweaked a lot of the industry, especially virtual healthcare, and sped up a lot of things to be more efficient,” Kaiden said. “However, doctors are still among the slowest group to adopt technology.”
As a result, Baleon Capital will invest in companies building the new digital infrastructure for healthcare, aimed at reducing costs, improving access and solving inefficiencies that are hindering patient care. In addition to healthcare, the firm has identified opportunities in vertical SaaS, like finance and real estate.
Baleon’s first fund invested in three companies: Mantra Health, a digital mental health clinic on a mission to improve access to evidence-based mental healthcare for young adults; LifeLink, which is building infrastructure for modern patient engagement; and ClearStep, a care navigation platform leveraging artificial intelligence to match patients to the right provider based on their symptoms, insurance and location.
As healthcare settles into its new digital transformation, Kaiden sees an industry that will rely more heavily on data interoperability as electronic medical records and gleaning insights from big data will evolve. He expects that to help reduce costs without reducing patient satisfaction and provide better health outcomes.
“It’s always a good time in healthcare, and there will always be companies that are disruptive,” Kaiden said. “Healthcare is 18% of the country’s GDP — that is a huge part of our economy, and it is inefficient. That makes it ripe for entrepreneurs to disrupt it.”