RH Capital, a venture capital firm and fund of Rhia Ventures, has closed its second fund with $38.5 million.
The female-led firm focuses on early-stage women’s health startups, particularly in the areas of contraception and maternal health. With its first fund raising $5 million in 2019, the latest announcement brings its total assets under management to $43.5 million.
“Women’s health has been an under-invested area for far too long,” Ruth Shaber, M.D., founder and president of the Tara Health Foundation, an anchor limited partner in the fund, said in the announcement. “We know we need more women’s voices in venture capital, in leading startups and in driving health innovation, and RH Capital is making a difference across all three.”
The fund has so far invested in 15 portfolio companies, including Ovia Health and Nurx, mostly focusing on seed to series A stage companies. It invests across the healthcare spectrum, from life sciences to healthcare, and also has an interest in companies serving underserved populations.
“Venture capital is such a powerful engine of innovation,” Elizabeth Bailey, managing director of RH Capital, said in a statement. “And we’re finally harnessing it for women’s health. Given the increasingly regressive policies of government, private sector innovation will be essential to ensure a brighter future for women’s health.”
Despite some concerns that the Dobbs decision to overturn Roe v. Wade may cause a chilling effect on femtech innovation, RH Capital has experienced the opposite. The fund raised $10 million in the immediate aftermath of the SCOTUS decision in June, according to a press release.
“Now, more than ever, is the time to invest in new science and disruptive technologies that can address the vast unmet needs in women’s health,” Stasia Obremskey, managing director and co-founder of RH Capital, said in a statement. “Since the Dobbs decision, we have doubled down on our investment strategy in pregnancy prevention and improving maternal health outcomes, and we’ve seen investor interest skyrocket.” More about the firm’s strategy is laid out here.
“We have seen this as a galvanizing force among fellow women's health-focused funds and as well as others,” the fund’s principal Alice Zheng, M.D., told Fierce Healthcare. The fund saw an increased interest in the area after the ruling among its limited partners, she added. “No matter what your political beliefs are, it is undeniable that women's health needs will only increase post-Roe.”