Avestria Ventures

Location:
LafayetteCA 
Founded:
2018
Size of fund:
Does not disclose
Stage:
Early

Harvard Business School classmates Corinne Nevinny and Linda Greub had already had successful careers in healthcare and investment banking when they began to think about becoming investors. In 2010, they began investing in health, wellness, and eco-friendly companies with a third partner. They figured they'd invest with their own money first, and maybe, someday, raise a fund.

One of their investments was nVision Medical, a company founded by Surbhi Sarna that developed a diagnostic test for ovarian cancer and was purchased by Boston Scientific for $275 million in 2018. "That really clarified it for us," says Greub. "We all know women entrepreneurs are not getting a great deal of funding. But we think there's an additional issue with women’s health."

Now Nevinny and Greub are indeed raising a fund, with an ambitious $100 million target. They're looking to invest in early stage companies addressing problems in women's health, often run by women. "Any time an entrepreneur is broaching something that a VC could be uncomfortable with, it makes it that much harder to get funding," says Greub. "It's not surprising that many women entrepreneurs want to work with women VCs. They're reading the numbers about how many women get funded, and they feel defeated before they even try. They feel like it's not an efficient use of their time to keep going to male VCs."

In healthcare, Nevinny and Greub want to provide an alternative, writing checks in the $250,000 to $500,000 range. So far they've invested in Alydia Health, a medical device company that treats postpartum hemorrhaging; Uqora, which treats urinary tract infections; and Madorra, which uses ultrasound to treat vaginal dryness in women who've had chemotherapy to treat breast cancer.