Bio Fund III

Four years ago, when we launched our first bio fund, the idea that software would make an impact in drug discovery sounded like science fiction; the idea it could transform the patient experience in healthcare a fool’s errand. Fast forward to 2020, and it’s not just accepted but broadly embraced, igniting an explosion of new startups and big investments from established incumbents. Tech, biotech, and our healthcare system are merging — into what we call simply “bio”. And whether for pharma, hospitals, or investors, bio is now officially the hot new thing.

That’s where they’ve got it wrong. Bio is not the “next new thing” — it’s becoming everything. Software is now affecting not just how we do not just one thing — cloning DNA, or engineering genes — but how we do it all across the board, blurring lines, breaking down traditional silos, changing our processes and business models. In other words, technology today is enhancing all our existing tools and data, affecting every decision we make, from research to development to deployment — and how we access, pay for, and experience healthcare. 

Bio is not the “next new thing” -- it’s becoming everything. Click To Tweet

And it’s not just software. What is technology really? It’s principles and process. It’s a shift to an engineering mindset for relentless iteration and constant improvement; modular components that can be remixed and reused, and improvements that accrue and compound over time. Tech gives us tools beyond just software — continuous data streams to describe our health, circuits to program cells, scalpels to edit DNA, and the ability to create programmable, living medicines. Our focus is not just on the groundbreaking outputs of this shift, from novel gene and cell therapies to digital therapeutics and virtual care models, but on the underlying approach and drivers that created those breakthroughs. This is why it doesn’t work to simply tack on AI, or just insert tech into an established company. In order to re-program entire systems and re-imagine new approaches to massive challenges, whether those are biological, or man-made, you need to rethink the process from the ground up. 

We are now approaching a new ability to rethink bio’s biggest problems, from intractable diseases and massive inefficiencies or disparities in an overburdened healthcare system, to what we eat, what we wear, what we build, even how we heal our planet. And we will do this by using our most advanced technological tools, as well as the engineering principles that brought them to us. 

This revolution is being driven by a new breed of founder who is multi-disciplinary and not scared to challenge the status quo or conventional wisdom. Whether they think of themselves as protein engineers or cell engineers, data scientists or software engineers, they are using technology and engineering processes to build products instead of chasing the lucky strike of discovery. They are creating the new generation of companies at the intersection of tech + biotech + healthcare that will attack the most audacious goals in healthcare: using AI to discover new drugs; using data to provide a real-world view into how patients are progressing through their healthcare journeys; programming our cells to fight disease; improving how we care for our sickest patients; even re-engineering the entire process for how we develop, test, and get drugs to patients quickly and at lower cost.

Because of who they are, this new breed of companies also requires a multidisciplinary approach to find, attract and vet these opportunities. This has been our DNA from the beginning, at the intersection of engineering and biology, of tech and medicine. MDs, PhDs, computer scientists, data scientists, biological engineers — all working side by side. 

This is how the next generation of bio and healthcare companies will be built. And this is why we are excited to announce a new $750M bio fund: Bio Fund III. 

The views expressed here are those of the individual AH Capital Management, L.L.C. (“a16z”) personnel quoted and are not the views of a16z or its affiliates. Certain information contained in here has been obtained from third-party sources, including from portfolio companies of funds managed by a16z. While taken from sources believed to be reliable, a16z has not independently verified such information and makes no representations about the enduring accuracy of the information or its appropriateness for a given situation.

This content is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. You should consult your own advisers as to those matters. References to any securities or digital assets are for illustrative purposes only, and do not constitute an investment recommendation or offer to provide investment advisory services. Furthermore, this content is not directed at nor intended for use by any investors or prospective investors, and may not under any circumstances be relied upon when making a decision to invest in any fund managed by a16z. (An offering to invest in an a16z fund will be made only by the private placement memorandum, subscription agreement, and other relevant documentation of any such fund and should be read in their entirety.) Any investments or portfolio companies mentioned, referred to, or described are not representative of all investments in vehicles managed by a16z, and there can be no assurance that the investments will be profitable or that other investments made in the future will have similar characteristics or results. A list of investments made by funds managed by Andreessen Horowitz (excluding investments for which the issuer has not provided permission for a16z to disclose publicly as well as unannounced investments in publicly traded digital assets) is available at

Charts and graphs provided within are for informational purposes solely and should not be relied upon when making any investment decision. Past performance is not indicative of future results. The content speaks only as of the date indicated. Any projections, estimates, forecasts, targets, prospects, and/or opinions expressed in these materials are subject to change without notice and may differ or be contrary to opinions expressed by others. Please see for additional important information.

Biology is eating the world

Sign up for our bio newsletter to get the a16z take on the future of biology and engineering.