New VC Alert: Sante Ventures

It can be pretty tough to launch a new VC shop in Texas, but that isn’t stopping a trio of former Austin Ventures pros who are going by the same of Sante Health Ventures. The firm began marketing its inaugural fund earlier this year, and indications are that it may be able to close by year-end.

“Sante” means “health” in French, and would have an accent mark were my WordPress not so finicky. It plans to focus on the healthcare technology, services and IT markets, while avoiding companies that are developing new biotechnologies or pharmaceuticals. Average investments will be between $2 million and $6 million, with between $4 million and $12 million invested over a company’s lifespan.

The Sante team includes three partners: Kevin Lalande, a former principal with Austin Ventures; Doug French, a former AV venture partner who previously was president and CEO of Ascension Health; and Joe Cunningham, another AV venture partner who previously was Vice Chair of the Ascension Health Ventures investment. Cunningham also is the former chief medical officer for Ascension’s Providence Health System.

Lalande declined to comment due to fundraising, except to confirm that he’s with Sante and to say that the firm will maintain a close relationship with Austin Ventures. Sante has offices in both Austin, Texas and Nashville, Tennessee.