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Seae Ventures debuts with $107m fund for diverse-led companies

Firm was founded in 2019 by three former executives of Zaffre Investments, the corporate venture arm of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. 

  • Firm was founded in 2019 by Tuoyo Louis, Jason Robart and Pete Sally, who previously led Zaffre Investments, the corporate venture arm of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.
  • Investors include American Hospital Association, Blue Shield of California, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, Cambridge Associates, Eli Lilly and Company, Goldman Sachs and Health Care Service Corporation.
  • Seae serves entrepreneurs who are women and Black, indigenous or people of color (BIPOC).
  • Firm focuses on companies developing technologies for financial wellness, mental health, women’s health and personalized medicine.

Seae Ventures, founded by the former leaders of a Blue Cross corporate venture fund, announced it has raised an inaugural fund of $107 million to support diverse-led companies.

The Boston-based firm was founded in 2019 by Tuoyo Louis, Jason Robart and Pete Sally, all of whom were executives with Zaffre Investments, the corporate venture arm of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. Louis served as a managing director for Zaffre from January 2014 to October 2018; Robart served as Zaffre’s president and CEO from March 2014 to March 2018; and Sally served as a director at Zaffre from June 2014 to April 2019; according to their LinkedIn profiles.

Seae has already backed 17 companies, including Hurdle, a digital mental health company for people of color; Tia, which is creating a “modern medical home for women;” and MD Ally, which triages 911 calls, according to a press release.

The firm will focus its investments on companies led by entrepreneurs who are women and Black, indigenous or people of color (BIPOC).

“Seae is the largest fund dedicated to investing in women- and BIPOC-led companies focused on developing technologies that address financial wellness, mental health, women’s health and personalized medicine that benefit traditionally underserved and vulnerable populations,” the firm said.

“It is a well-known fact that women and BIPOC entrepreneurs have not had equal access to capital,” Robart said in a statement. “Closing gender and racial equity gaps starts with investing in historically overlooked entrepreneurs. We are confident our efforts will motivate other venture firms to recognize this unseen value and amplify our portfolio’s collective mission through investment and support.”

Seae’s debut fund garnered investments from more than 30 LPs, including the American Hospital Association, Blue Shield of California, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, Cambridge Associates, Eli Lilly and Company, Goldman Sachs and Health Care Service Corporation.

“Goldman Sachs is excited to invest in Seae and support their investment in underrepresented founders who are dedicated to building innovative solutions in healthcare,” said Suzanne Gauron, global head of Launch With GS. “We believe Seae’s mission closely aligns with the Launch With GS thesis and we look forward to partnering with the team to drive capital to diverse teams dedicated to improving access to high-quality healthcare.”