Medical Device Startup Veniti Lands $13.5 Million Series A

Veniti, a Saint Louis-based medical device company, has raised a $13.5 million Series A round led by Baird Venture Partners, H&Q Healthcare Investors, and H&Q Life Sciences Investors. Veniti develops devices for treating venous disease, including a stent system. Its first products are expected to be available later this year, according to the company.

PRESS RELEASE:

Veniti, Inc. (Veniti), a St. Louis, Mo. based medical device company, announced today it has raised $13.5 million in Series A financing.  Baird Venture Partners, H&Q Healthcare Investors (NYSE:HQH) and H&Q Life Sciences Investors (NYSE:HQL) led the round, and were joined by Prolog Ventures, St. Louis Arch Angels and a number of individual investors. The proceeds will be used to acquire two additional medical device companies and begin commercialization of multiple products singularly focused on treating chronic venous disease.
Concurrent with this investment, Veniti will augment its product portfolio by acquiring two separate medical device companies, Varix Medical Corporation (Sunnyvale, CA) and Teneo Medical Development (Fremont, CA). The Veniti platform will offer medical professionals a comprehensive solution for treating venous disease, including a vapor-based endovenous ablation system, a vena cava filter anchoring technology, and a stent system designed specifically for treating this complex disease.  Initial products are expected to be available in late 2011.

Chronic venous disease is a common disorder that affects 40% of the adult population. Normally, veins carry used blood back to the heart.  If the veins fail to properly work, blood can pool and cause problems that are mild (commonly referred to as varicose veins) or severe (such as Deep Vein Thrombosis, Pulmonary Embolism or Venous Ulcers).  For patients with venous disease, existing products in the market have a number of deficiencies making them less-than-optimal solutions. 

“We spent the last few years focused on identifying companies and technologies treating diseases in the peripheral vascular sector, and we are excited about the prospects of the Veniti platform within the venous space,” said Michael Liang, Ph.D., Partner at Baird Venture Partners. “We believe the combination of these three companies will be well-received by the medical community and fill an unmet need in the market.”

 “We are very pleased to partner with these investors to further our efforts to develop better technologies for treating venous disease,” said Sean Morris, President and CEO of Veniti. “Venous disease is a complex issue and knowledge in this area is rapidly expanding.  Our philosophy at Veniti is to first understand the complex biomechanical forces contributing to venous disease, and then develop products that address the specific needs of the venous anatomy. There is a strong demand for a company with a comprehensive, multiple product focus in venous, and we are excited about providing physicians with a superior product to achieve the best possible outcomes for their patients.”

As part of the transaction, Morris, Liang, and Frank Gentile, Ph.D., of Hambrecht & Quist Capital Management, LLC, will join Veniti’s Board of Directors.  Dr. Tom Duerig, the President and CEO of Nitinol Devices & Components, Inc. (NDC), will also join the Board of Directors.  NDC is a leader in providing Nitinol materials and components to the medical device industry.

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About Veniti, Inc.

Veniti, Inc., is a St. Louis, MO. – based medical device company focused on the development of innovative solutions for the comprehensive treatment of chronic venous insufficiency, a condition that affects up to 20% of all U.S. adults.  For more information, please visit www.venitimedical.com.

About Baird Venture Partners

Baird Venture Partners, the U.S.-based venture capital fund of Baird Private Equity, makes venture capital investments in early and expansion stage business services and life sciences companies. Baird Venture Partners leverages its in-depth sector knowledge, experienced investment team and network of relationships to serve as a value-added partner for its portfolio companies.   For more information, please visit www.bairdventurepartners.com.

Baird Private Equity, the global private equity group of Robert W. Baird & Co. (Baird), makes venture capital, growth equity and buyout investments in smaller, high potential companies in the United States through Baird Venture Partners and Baird Capital Partners, in China through Baird Capital Partners Asia, and in Europe through Baird Capital Partners Europe.  Baird Private Equity has a global team of investment and operations professionals across the United States, Europe and Asia, including a team of operating professionals in Asia.  Baird Private Equity and its affiliates have raised and managed over $2.7 billion in capital and invested in more than 240 companies since the 1980s.  For more information, please visit www.bairdprivateequity.com.

About Hambrecht & Quist Capital Management, LLC

Hambrecht & Quist Capital Management, LLC (“HQCM”), a registered investment adviser based in Boston, Massachusetts, is currently the investment adviser for two closed-end equity funds, H&Q Healthcare Investors (NYSE: HQH) and H&Q Life Sciences Investors (NYSE:HQL). The Funds invest in growth equities, both public and private, in the healthcare and life sciences industries. The Funds primarily invests in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices. The Funds can invest up to 40% of assets in venture or restricted securities. This includes restricted holdings in both public and private companies.  Management believes this provides a unique opportunity not usually available through mutual fund investors. For more information, please visit www.hqcm.com

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