Spanish investment banking and asset management firm Alantra has taken a 35% stake in the venture capital firm Asabys Partners in a move that represents the first milestone of the Iberian firm in this investment space.
The deal also implies that Alantra will invest in the first fund of Asabys while will be supporting the company in the search for new investors as well as the internationalisation of the project.
The partnership counts with the support of the Spanish bank Sabadell, which is the anchor investor of Asabys' first fund, the Sabadell Asabys Health Innovation Investments.
The Fund currently has a size of over €60m and has carried out three transactions in different countries in Europe so far. Investors include Banc Sabadell, FondICO Global and Institut Català de Finances (ICF), various Catalan wealthy families and high net worth individuals, and international investors.
Asabys Partners, based in Barcelona, is a pan-European venture capital firm investing in the life sciences and health sectors. The company is led by professional investors Josep Sanfeliu and Clara Campàs.
Josep Lluís Sanfeliu, co-founder of Asabys, said: "The alliance with Alantra and the support of Banc Sabadell since the beginning of this project corroborates that we are facing an enormous investment opportunity in a growing market.
"It also reflects that Asabys is able to execute a plan above the expectations raised in 2018 when we started, and this transaction will contribute to bring the disruptive innovation in the health sector to underserved patients with medical needs."
Clara Campàs added: "This is a transaction that will give Asabys Partners the potential to go further and with more strength in its objectives to promote science and entrepreneurship in the field of health, and offer the corresponding return to our investors."
Ana Segurado, managing partner for the venture capital practice of Alantra, said: "We have identified the health sector as one of the most attractive and fastest-growing areas within the European venture capital ecosystem. We believe that the Asabys team has the capabilities and ambition to capture this opportunity and develop a solid growth project within the sector."
The operation represents the first deal of Alantra in the venture capital segment, which seeks to deploy different products and funds across Europe in the tech and venture capital segments.
Ana Segurado joined Alantra in September 2018 to lead the firm's effort in this investment space. Before joining Alantra, she spent six years at Telefónica as managing director of Open Innovation, leading more than 60 investments and 20 exits in the US & Europe in fields like fintech, cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and coordinating innovation projects across Latin America and Europe.