Rebiotix is a unique company. It uses donor fecal matter to introduce good bacteria into sick patients for the treatment of multi-recurrent clostridium difficile infections. This is a first-in class product pursuing a Biologics License Application through the FDA.
“It is such an interesting company and so different than what I have worked on before,” said Lee Jones, founder, president, and CEO of Rebiotix.
Given its unique market position, the company’s fundraising methods and success – $25 million raised in 2014 – were also unique. “We didn’t meet the standard criteria for many of the VC funds. A typical VC is looking for a low risk investment with a clear or predetermined exit plan. It’s hard for them to put money into a technology that has no precedence because the risks are unknown in a new therapeutic space,” said Jones. “We went with private money because those investors are willing to take more risks and place value on the basis of relationships, where they believe in the management team and know its track record.”
Jones’ advice to other start-ups is to assemble a top-tier team. “Have the right network, the right people. Having recognizable people on your board and on your team is important because it can be difficult to get your foot in the door,” Jones said, explaining how a diverse management team and board of directors open up a broader network of potential investors.
“Many of our investors are familiar with investing in medical technology and they put their own money on the line because they know the medical industry and the inherent opportunities,” said Jones. “One of the reasons Rebiotix has been so successful at continuing to raise funds is by taking the initial investment and hitting all the milestones we said we would.”