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M.R. Asks 3 Questions: Sahir Ali, Founder of Modi Ventures

By August 10, 2023Article

Dr. Sahir Ali is a technology and healthcare leader, investor and board advisor who has extensive experience in the areas of artificial intelligence, medical imaging, cancer research, enterprise technology and cloud computing. He has advised and led some of the fortune 500 companies, hedge funds and other organizations in implementing and integrating cloud technologies and artificial intelligence/data science.

As founder of Modi Ventures, a private investment firm focused on investing in venture capital funds and early-stage startup in disruptive and emerging AI and Medical technology applications, we thought Sahir’s insights into the current investing trends of healthcare AI and TechBio would be insightful. 

M.R. Rangaswami: What types of tech bio and healthcare AI investments are gaining funding in the current economic climate?

Sahir Ali: Some of the most exciting breakthroughs in medicine today are happening at the nexus of biology and computer science, using tools such as artificial intelligence (AI).  There are two major tech-enabled bio investments themes: therapeutic platforms (drug discovery companies based on novel platform technology) and transformative technologies (companies developing applications of breakthrough technological advances such as genomics and digital health). 

M.R.: What advice do you have for emerging startups to succeed in the crowded healthcare technology market? 

Sahir: Startups that focus on platform technologies that can yield multiple programs and shots on goal, instead of individual assets with binary outcomes tend to be very attractive from investment perspectives, as well as time to market valuation proposition. We also encourage our founders to establish high-quality partnerships across the ecosystem — true platforms produce many more assets than any individual company can develop.

The healthcare industry is slow to adopt new technology, so startups need to market their product effectively to reach the target audience, especially for digital health and consumer  products. 

M.R.: What areas of investing in healthcare AI are gaining the most traction in this economy? 

Sahir: There is a great deal of traction (funding and support) for companies that combine AI technology to generate novel candidates and strong drug development expertise to validate and find the best potential drugs. Another key area is gene therapy, which offers the potential to cure—not just treat the symptoms of—many major diseases. Some of the most transformative technologies are major new applications of genomics. Next-generation sequencing has outpaced even the fabled Moore’s Law, as the cost and information content of sequencing has improved even faster than the cost and information content of computer chips.

Companies which incorporate nextgen sequencing into diagnostic applications can enable better clinical outcomes at radically reduced costs. When cancer is detected late, only 20% of patients survive for five years, but when detected early, 80% survive for five years. Early detection saves lives and billions of dollars per year in medical costs.

M.R. Rangaswami is the Co-Founder of

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