Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) has made a $30 million limited partner investment in a newly-formed venture fund. The company says Unseen Capital Health Fund LP seeks to identify, fund and support “underrepresented founders of early-stage healthcare companies and those building solutions for marginalized communities.”
The Unseen Capital Health Fund plans to invest in up to 50 early-stage companies that are operated by underrepresented founders. Lilly says people from minority communities are often “unseen” by the U.S. healthcare system and similarly, diverse business founders are often overlooked by traditional investment institutions.
“The pandemic has reinforced our understanding that there is unequal treatment and unequal access to healthcare in underserved communities, made worse by a lack of financial investment for the promising ideas that rise up from within these communities,” Joshua Smiley, chief financial officer for Lilly, said in a news release. “We hope that our investment will serve as a model for how established and emerging partners in health can work together to source, and ultimately scale, the next generation of health companies helmed by founders who are more representative of the communities they serve.”
Lilly says Unseen Capital is nearing its target of raising $100 million and is already active and investing.