Silver Lake, Ontario Teachers’Back Alphabet Life Sciences Unit in $1 Billion Funding

Verily, formerly known as Google Life Sciences, has attracted institutional investors as it seeks to expand within health care.

Illustration by II

Illustration by II

Alphabet’s life sciences business has raised $1 billion from investors including Silver Lake and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan to support strategic partnerships in health care and potential acquisitions.

Silver Lake, a private equity firm focused on technology, led the funding round, according to a January 3 statement from Verily Life Sciences. As part of the deal, Silver Lake managing director Egon Durban will be nominated to join Verily’s operating board along with Ruth Porat, the chief financial officer of Google parent Alphabet.

Verily uses the latest technology to help solve significant problems in health and biology, creating tools that capture data and organize it in a useful way. The fresh funding will help the life sciences research and engineering firm to expand its core areas of operation.

“Adding a well-rounded group of seasoned investors, led by Silver Lake, will further prepare us to execute as healthcare continues the shift towards evidence generation and value-based reimbursement models,” Andrew Conrad, Verily’s chief executive officer, said in the statement.

Verily, formerly known as Google Life Sciences, said other global investment firms participated in the funding, but beyond Ontario Teachers,’ did not name them or disclose terms of the deal. Singapore’s investment firm Temasek invested $800 million for a minority stake in the life sciences company in 2017, according to a Verily statement at the time.

Verily, based in South San Francisco, seeks partnerships with life sciences, medical device and government groups to make meaningful advancements faster on a larger scale.

Last month, the firm said it would collaborate with Walgreens Boots Alliance on multiple projects aimed at improving health outcomes for patients with chronic conditions while seeking to lower the cost of care. In July, Verily and ResMed announced a joint venture to study the financial and health impacts of untreated sleep apnea and to develop software that helps diagnose and treat sleep disorders.

[II Deep Dive: Blackstone Creates Life Science Unit With Clarus Deal]

The life sciences industry has also attracted Blackstone Group, which sees a lack of funding to commercialize medicines and healthcare technologies.

Blackstone, the world’s largest private equity firm, said in October that it was buying Clarus Ventures to anchor its push into life sciences at a time of rapid advancement in science and technology. The deal, completed in November, established Blackstone Life Sciences.