Global team with proprietary expertise
Our Team & Advisors
Amirapu (Soma) Somasekhar
Founder / CEO
“Working in many parts of the world lets me compare and contrast markets. When I first came across the life sciences industry in Australia, I was struck both by a thriving bio medical research industry, and the limited menu of financing options.
Differentiating from other providers has always spurred me on. I am excited by the opportunity to import a new form of specialized finance expertise from the US and tailor it to the Australian market. And all this for a great cause, i.e. lowering the cost of finding better cures, here in Australia. I will relocate from NY to Sydney.”
25 years as a Global financial leader. CEO of banks / finance companies in India, the Far East, USA, UK, and Latin America Entrepreneur / Builder of businesses and teams with Citibank. Senior Credit Officer. MBA, CFA
“Over the course of my 30 years in the Australian and US biotech and medtech venture capital industry, I often thought how our Australian companies could benefit from access to short term debt finance in circumstances where they need bridging funds to achieve a delayed milestone. Milestone delays are common place in the biotech and medtech industry, and one significant problem is that raising equity capital to bridge a company through to achieving the milestone is usually punitively dilutive to non-participating shareholders. All of my US based portfolio companies, at some stage, used venture debt”.
"Traditional lenders who look for positive operating cash flows and strong collateral avoid these companies. However, an ever-expanding group of specialised lenders have developed necessary underwriting and portfolio management skills, hence now operate and thrive in the US. "
“In Australia, venture debt (Growth Capital) is not offered. GLSC will be among the early movers. With GLSC, we hope to continue to help people start and build companies by enabling them retain more of the value they create.”
Based in Melbourne. Eminent venture capitalist and early stage investor in bio medical start-ups. Co-founder of GBS – Australia’s leading venture capitalist in life sciences.
"It's not often that I find an opportunity like Venture Debt that makes so much sense for investors, as well as offering Australian life sciences companies such a compelling value proposition. That it also supports Australian innovation in bringing much needed medical solutions to unwell patients / clients makes it even more compelling to me."
Based in Sydney. CEO of Stock Brokerage and Investment Management Co (Wilson HTM), Veteran former banker with senior positions both in Australia and internationally with Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Citibank.
"The life sciences sector in Australia has a global reputation for developing world leading research, however the commercialisation of this research has often been constrained by the lack of availability of cost effective capital. What attracted me to GLSC was the powerful combination of a strong demand pull from life sciences companies for an alternative to expensive, dilutive and inflexible venture or other early stage equity, with a well understood, tried and tested structured debt solution from the US market. Add in first mover advantage, and a highly experienced executive team with many years of direct experience in structured and venture debt, and you have a highly compelling business proposition."
Based in Brisbane. Former Solicitor and International Banker (Citibank). Non-executive Director experienced in commercialisation, research from universities, medical research, and early stage companies. Chairman of Queensland’s Tertiary Paediatric Hospital.
Credit Committee Member
“At this level, lending is more an art than a science. We work with passionate people working on promising science, and every story has the potential to save or improve peoples’ lives. We add value and raise the probability of success not by getting caught up in the science, but by getting the scientists and the managements to plan for other scenarios ie on what can go wrong. In this business, as in so many of life’s situations, success is built on an accurate appreciation of the of the other person’s point of view. That comes from being patient, being a good listener and interjecting at the right time.”
Rob retains a deep commitment to mentoring others and is committed to donating his time to local non-profit organizations. Philanthropy is another area he plans to spend more time on.
His competitive nature leads to business success, but what really motivates him today are his family commitments and world travel. Raising two young children, being active and engaging in the local community as well as visiting different parts of the world with his family are important.
Based in San Diego, Rob founded and is currently a Senior Vice President, Head of Life Sciences for Bridge Bank, one of the premier commercial banks specializing in working with life sciences companies. Prior, Rob was an Executive Director in charge of underwriting and portfolio management for West Coast at Oxford Finance LLC. He has over 22 years of commercial lending experience in USA, of this, 15 years have been in venture lending mostly to life sciences and healthcare companies. Rob has underwritten, approved, and funded over US $ 2 B with minimal credit losses.
Chief Operating Officer, GLSC Australia (to be located in Sydney).
“My past learnings have made me a little sceptical of broad financial forecasts. With start-up companies, the people behind the numbers are what really matter. It is about understanding the passion and commitment of the team behind the science. Their focus on the long-term growth and deliverables—how will they handle phase 1 and phase 2, taking the company to the inflexion point with a clearly defined exit strategy”?
With a background in theory and modelling, he enjoys seeing how scientific theory can lead to insightful analyses of future borrowers.
Family commitments matter a lot and watching and guiding his son on the golf course gives him deep satisfaction.
DE has a background in private equity, and venture lending in life sciences. His strength is in analytics in investing in loans & equity. Having looked into over a hundred companies, over a dozen at the board / oversight level, he has a deep understanding of how the Venture Loan business works.
With GLSC, he sees his role as a collaborative, team member in connecting and vetting potential clients with the field level originators and borrowers.
Will relocate from NY to Sydney. 20 years in venture investing in life sciences in USA, venture loans and Equity Investments / US Banking. Operations / Legal vehicles / Compliance / Reporting. MBA from Chicago Business School.
Sunil K. Nair
" Having made and led many investments to successful exits in the pharmaceutical (specially generics) in different parts of the world. I am excited by the opportunity to be involved in a new geography. Australia and New Zealand have a terrific tradition of original research, and I am looking forward to helping GLSC offer a new form of capital to a growing industry"
Based in London/Singapore. Formerly Founding/Managing Partner of Citi Venture Capital International - one of the largest P/E investors in the emerging markets. Is a leading proponent of structured equity transactions and has managed and successfully exited over $2.0 B of investments across many industries with a special emphasis in pharmaceuticals. Sunil was earlier with Salomon Smith Barney, Citigroup and McKinsey & Co in NY. He has an MBA from Yale where he received the academic excellence award for best student.
" Having led and invested in many drug development programs, I am excited by the opportunity to be involved with a company offering a new financing instrument sorely lacking in the Australian healthcare ecosystem. Australia and New Zealand have a terrific tradition of original research, and I am looking forward to helping it realise greater valuations and returns to investors."
Amir Zalcenstein has relocated to Melbourne from Israel in 2014 and soon thereafter joined OneVentures as an investment manager. Prior, Amir was Head of Business Development for BiondVax, a publicly traded company developing a Universal Flu Vaccine. Prior, Amir served as CEO of Amorphical (developing the next generation of Calcium-based therapies) and SoluBest, a drug delivery company and CRO.
Amir holds a PhD in Molecular Biology from the Weizmann Institute of Science and an Executive MBA from Technion, Israel.
Amir brings a strong venture perspective to the team and extensive international operational experience.