Optum, the health services business of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), announced today the creation of Optum Ventures, a $250 million venture fund focused on investing in startup and early-stage companies whose innovations will help advance the health care system.
Optum Ventures invests in digital health companies that use data and insights to help improve consumers’ access to health care services and how care is delivered and paid for, and that make the health care system more reliable and easier to navigate.
Entrepreneurs working with Optum Ventures gain more than capital investment. They gain strategic guidance to support development and growth from a vast network of experts and relationships. Optum’s unparalleled health care assets and analytics capabilities provide a unique proving ground to research, test and innovate new solutions in collaboration with Optum’s broad and long-standing relationships and knowledge of how health care systems work and perform.
By leveraging Optum’s health care market expertise and experience, Optum Ventures and the companies it invests in will be able to bring solutions to market more quickly and scale faster, helping build a health care system that is more transparent, personalized, precise and consumer-focused.
“Optum Ventures is uniquely positioned to help develop and grow startups and early-stage companies through capital investment, Optum’s decades of experience in health care, and our access to the health care marketplace,” said Larry Renfro, CEO of Optum and Managing Partner of Optum Ventures. “Optum Ventures will be the partner of choice for companies developing innovations that help make health care work better for everyone.”
The initial investments of Optum Ventures include:
- Apervita, whose cloud-based platform reduces the time it takes to build and deploy analytic applications that enable health care professionals to deliver better care, and enterprises to gain stronger insights.
- Buoy Health, which has developed an artificial intelligence-powered digital health assistant that helps patients better understand their symptoms and get advice on where to go and what to do next.
- Mindstrong Health, whose technology uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to assess a patient’s smartphone interactions to help diagnose and treat neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders such as depression, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder.
- SHYFT Analytics, which provides a cloud-based data and analytics platform for life sciences companies, enabling them to reduce cost and risk while increasing clinical and commercial performance, with a focus on oncology, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other specialty and rare disorders.
Optum Ventures is funded by Optum and will operate independently under the leadership of its Partners, A.G. Breitenstein and Virginia McFerran. Together, Breitenstein and McFerran have years of experience in starting, advising and leading innovative health care enterprises. The fund will have offices in Boston, Massachusetts and Menlo Park, California.
For more information, visit www.optumventures.com.
Optum is a leading information and technology-enabled health services business dedicated to helping make the health system work better for everyone. With more than 133,000 people worldwide, Optum delivers intelligent, integrated solutions that help to modernize the health system and improve overall population health. Optum is part of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH). For more information, visit www.optum.com.