Runway hires Lake for push into life sciences

The US venture debt provider will target healthcare businesses through a new practice headed by the former Bridge Bank professional.

Runway Growth Capital, the Woodside, California-based venture debt provider, has appointed Rob Lake as head of its new life sciences practice.

Lake was previously at Bridge Bank, a division of Western Alliance Bank, where he was founder and group head of the bank’s life sciences practice. He spent almost five years there with responsibility for business development, maintaining asset quality and managing the division’s P&L. Over his lending career, he has funded more than $1.4 billion in loans to around 50 debt transactions.

He also had previous spells at Oxford Finance, a private speciality financial services company providing capital to life sciences and healthcare firms, and Silicon Valley Bank, a financial services firm focused on emerging growth and mature companies in the technology, life sciences, private equity and premium wine markets.

Runway is a provider of growth capital to venture and non-venture backed companies which see venture debt as an alternative to raising equity. In a statement, the firm said it sees healthcare companies as offering “substantial value” and representing “a significant portion of the overall technology and innovation landscape in the US”.

While not having a dedicated practice before, Runway has lent to life sciences companies such as CareCloud, a provider of cloud-based practice management, electronic health records and medical billing software and services; and MingleHealth, a consulting firm and technology vendor. The firm has also lent into sectors such as software as a service, technology, media and financial services.

Runway Growth Capital advises Runway Growth Credit Fund, which provides senior term loans of $10 million to $50 million to fast-growing companies based in the US and Canada.