You Bet Your Ass, Highway 12 Backs Med Device Company

This morning, Boise, Idaho-based Highway 12 Ventures announced it led a Series D round of funding in SynCardia Systems Inc., a Tucson, Ariz.-based developer of an artificial heart to treat people with biventricular heart failure.

Highway 12 led the round and was joined by some undisclosed angel investors. The round is called a Series D although this is the company’s first institutional round of funding, having previously raised “a good deal of angel money along the way,” says Mark Solon, managing partner of Highway 12 and new board member of SynCardia.

I know I’m probably obsessed with the firms located up and down the Rockies. Perhaps I’m just jealous of the outdoor scenery that greets Highway 12 and others, such as the Foundry Group, each morning. But the deal is noteworthy since it’s the first medical device startup that Highway 12 has backed. The firm’s portfolio sports a number of erly stage software and Internet-related companies, not that there’s anything wrong with that. So I asked Solon if it felt good to invest in a company that helps to save lives.

“Does it feel good to do something like this? You bet your ass,” he said. “I’ve spent a lot of time at the company in the last six months, and it has a very unique and compelling atmosphere.”

Solon had more to say about the company on the firm’s blog.