Verily, the company formerly known as Google Life Sciences, is now offering office and lab space at its South San Francisco campus to healthcare-related startups in exchange for equity or cash.
“We want to have cutting-edge tech companies working in healthcare proximate to us,” said Verily’s business development lead Andrew Harrison.
Alphabet-owned Verily is one of several technology companies looking to take a bite out of the $3 trillion healthcare pie. Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon all are working on initiatives.
Harrison described Verily’s model as “partner space” which duplicates existing startup incubator spaces, with a few notable differences. Namely, Verily might invest in these companies, but it can also just rent them space. In either case, the company will do a “venture-like review” to determine which healthcare startups will be neighbors.
According to Harrison, Verily has space for five to 10 start-ups at any given time. Two of the spots already have been filled by Culture Robotics, a biotech tools startup, and Freenome, a diagnostics company working on an early-stage cancer test. Verily made an equity investment in both companies.
“As a small company, being part of the partner space helps us get off the ground more quickly,” said Culture Robotics’ Will Patrick, adding that the company wanted to be close to Verily’s team of scientists and engineers. Of equal importance—the space was an affordable option in an area known for its astronomical rent prices.
Verily’s current projects include a glucose-tracking contact lens, and assistive tools for people with impaired movement. Current partners include a number of large pharmaceutical and medical device companies ranging from Dexcom to Sanofi.