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📢 Q1 2023: PsyMed Ventures Update
The successful close of our fundraising round, a new investment, a series of events and partnerships, and more
Welcome back to the PsyMed Ventures newsletter! 👋
We’re off to a thrilling start to the year, and we can’t wait to bring you up to speed on the latest developments at PsyMed Ventures. In this post, we’ll share a fund update, market analysis, noteworthy news mentions, latest Business Trip episodes, and our team’s favorite content highlights.
Let’s dive right in.
📈 Fund Update
We are pleased to announce that we reached our target raise of $15 million in signed commitments for our fund. We are grateful for the support and confidence in our mission to put an end to the mental health crisis. If you’re interested in Fund I or know of any potential investors who may be interested in joining us on this journey as we initiate the closing process, please do not hesitate to reach out as soon as possible.
PsyMed Ventures Fund I Portfolio Update
Here’s a roundup of our portfolio investments. We recently made our sixth investment from our fund.
Freedom Biosciences - Drug developer for second generation ketamine and psychedelic therapeutics. Freedom’s lead program seeks to extend its efficacy
Delix Therapeutics - Drug developer for novel neuroplasticity-promoting therapeutics for central nervous system diseases such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder
Journey Clinical - platform enabling licensed therapists to offer psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.
Motif Neurotech - A therapy for treatment resistant depression via a minimally invasive implant powered by magnetoelectric transfer. Once the Motif neural pacemaker is implanted patients can manage at home, taking less than 20 minutes of their day.
Neurotech (stealth) - non-invasive treatment for mental health illnesses
Marketplace (stealth) - marketplace for transformational mental health modalities. This includes therapies that can achieve meaningful impact in a few sessions and address the root cause.
One Mind Accelerator: Mentorship Opportunity
Greg has been invited to be a mentor for the inaugural cohort of the One Mind accelerator. This opportunity enables us to further support the mental health startup ecosystem and gain valuable insights into 10 early-stage mental health startups. Demo day is May 3, 2023.
Bay Area Psychedelic Symposium
In March, we attended the 1st annual Bay Area Psychedelic Symposium at Stanford University, which included participation from Stanford, UCSF, Berkeley, and UC Davis. The gathering brought together distinguished researchers to present on cutting-edge developments in the field of psychedelic science ranging from chemistry and molecular biology to circuit-level neuroscience and human clinical trial data.
Market conditions were risk-on in Q1 2023. Investors are becoming more selective, choosing to focus on high-quality startups with strong fundamentals – e.g. proven demand, founders with previous successful exits. The biggest risk a startup faces today is a lack of funding in their next round. As such, our DD process now involves speaking to Series A/B investors to understand what they’d need to see for each potential investment to be investable.
In our Q4 2022 update, we forecasted that many startups would not survive in the current environment. Our predictions have proven accurate so far: we've seen the closure of startups like Field Trip Health and Synthesis due to a combination of factors, including lack of funding, and the challenging economic climate.
We see these volatile conditions as an opportunity to capitalize on our dry powder and invest in high-quality startups.
Looking ahead, we believe there may be an opportunity to invest in later-stage companies at seed-stage valuations. This approach will allow us to gain exposure to mature and proven business models at attractive entry points, while also providing much-needed capital to these companies during a time of economic uncertainty.
Despite the headwinds faced by many startups in the current market environment, we remain optimistic about the future. We firmly believe that these setbacks represent an opportunity for the strongest and most resilient companies to rise above the competition. We expect the turbulent conditions in Q2 2023 to allow the best companies to emerge stronger and more adaptive to the market dynamics.
🏆 Team Additions
Caitlin Ner as Chief of Staff: Caitlin comes from a broad tech operations and finance background. After attending Harvard, she was an investor at BlackRock and in growth and operations at a Series C mental health startup, Cerebral.
Alex Amen as Scientific Advisor: Alex is a Director of Strategy at Octant and holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience and molecular biology from Johns Hopkins University. Her passion lies in utilizing experimental advancements to identify new therapeutic strategies for patients with significant unmet needs. Before joining Octant, Alex was Director of Asset Acquisition at BridgeBio Pharma, where she was responsible for identifying and evaluating new therapeutic programs to add to the company's pipeline. She completed postdoctoral training in the Doudna Lab under Jennifer Doudna – winner of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. In the lab, Alex worked between UC Berkeley and UCSF, where she studied translation regulation in neurons.
📰 PsyMed Ventures in the News
Lucid News: Matias discusses his outlook on how one-on-one and group psychedelic assisted therapy models will coexist depending on the patient's needs.
Green Market Report: PsyMed’s joint partnership with the Longevity Science Foundation is highlighted to fund research on psychedelic treatments for age-related diseases.
Business Insider: PsyMed Ventures was highlighted as one of fourteen top psychedelic VC funds.
Unfiltered: Matias was interviewed about his involvement in the future of mental health in an unreleased documentary.
Behind the Scenes of PsyMed Ventures - Greg and Matias provide an update about the fundraise, portfolio construction, investment focus areas, and lessons learned.
The 2023 Psychedelic Industry Landscape with Psychedelic Alpha - an overview about where the psychedelic field is today and where we're heading in 2023. Psychedelic Alpha is a top resource for psychedelic sector insights and the episode was shared with their 10,000 subscribers.
The State of Psychedelics (Part 2): Dr. Rachel Yehuda and Zach Haigney (live at Soho House NYC) - topics include the potential of MDMA vs. psilocybin-assisted therapy for PTSD, the hype vs. the science of current psychedelic clinical trials, and psychedelic legislation approvals in Oregon and Colorado.
💡 Content Highlights
Matias requests a “Virta for Mental Health”, inviting founders and community members to reach out.
Greg analyzes the recent struggles confronting ketamine and psilocybin centers.
We’re excited for the year ahead!
If you enjoyed reading this Q1 2023 update, please feel free to forward to anyone else who might be interested in learning more about the work we’re doing in frontier mental health at PsyMed Ventures.
The PsyMed Ventures Team