Canadian Esplanade Healthtech Ventures closes oversubscribed inaugural digital health fund

Canadian Esplanade Healthtech Ventures closes oversubscribed inaugural digital health fund

Published: 16-06-2021 11:43:00 | By: Pie Kamau | hits: 761 | Tags:

Esplanade HealthTech Ventures (Esplanade or the Fund) announced the closing of its oversubscribed inaugural venture fund, Esplanade HealthTech Ventures I (Fund I), with commitments totaling more than C$21 million. As Canada's leading digital health venture capital firm, Esplanade seeks to empower digital health entrepreneurs around the world through capital as well as strategic advisory and distribution support.

Esplanade focuses on Seed to Series A investments in companies located in the US, CanadaEurope and Israel that serve the global healthcare market. To date, Fund I has made investments in 13 companies, among them, BrainBox AI, Cleerly and Lumen, representing a diverse global portfolio. In just over a year since its first close, Esplanade has seen several of its portfolio companies' valuations increase to over $100 million with strong regulatory traction including several breakthrough designations and approvals from the FDA.

The HealthTech market has seen funding grow by 80% in the last five years, with 440 transactions in 2020 alone and over 36 VC-backed digital health unicorns, according to Rock Health. The gap in access to care, continued innovation and achieving optimal health outcomes requires the help of digital solutions. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the future of healthcare was digital; and the pandemic has materially accelerated this transition. Technology-driven innovation holds the potential to improve patient understanding, enable more convenient, individualized care and create $350–$410 billion in annual value by 2025 according to McKinsey.

Martin Brunelle, VP Growth, Acquisitions and Development at Desjardins Group, an investor in the fund: "With the growing challenges in healthcare, we believe that investors like Esplanade can support founders in driving transformative and scalable change to patient care while continuing to generate strong returns."

Esplanade was founded and seeded in February 2020 by Dr. Sheldon Elman, co-founder of Persistence Capital Partners, serial entrepreneur, and experienced investor in the healthcare space. Esplanade's leadership team also includes Josh Blair, General Partner, and CEO of the Canadian/Israeli tech startup,, and Chairman of TELUS International.  Jeffrey Kadanoff, Managing Director and Ella Seitz, Partner bring years of experience from Knight Therapeutics Inc., Bain & Company, McKesson Corporation and Kearney. The firm expects its next fund, Fund II, to have its first close later this year.

Sheldon Elman, Chairman, Esplanade HealthTech Ventures: "As a practicing physician for over 40 years, my goal has always been to treat health issues before they become medical problems and to empower patients in their own care through innovation. Esplanade's unique investment thesis and strategic capabilities position us to realize this goal while also delivering strong financial returns to our LPs."