Today we announced the final close of Define Ventures, an $87m first-time, early stage sector focused fund targeting a major investment opportunity in digital health companies that will redefine healthcare and change our lives.
In the last decade, the healthcare industry started to use many of the same digital technologies that transformed sectors such as financial services, entertainment, food, and transportation for much needed innovation. For example, Livongo, a company that went public last year, created a technology platform to help patients manage chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. We saw this technology enablement of healthcare as the beginning of something big. The healthcare industry continues to be challenged by inefficiency and rising costs and is under enormous pressure to deliver better care at lower economics. Patients are demanding more personal empowerment and consumer-like experiences within the healthcare system that technology can enable. Reconfiguration of the industry through horizontal and vertical mergers, the emergence of technology players such as Amazon, Google, Apple and the creation of a talent pool in digital health are all contributing to the opportunity. This is why we raised Define Ventures. As Brook Byers, founder of Kleiner Perkins and an investor and advisor to Define Ventures, explained:
“Define Ventures is tapping into the unparalleled change that is happening in the $3 trillion healthcare industry with a sector focused fund in digital health. Its objective is to invest in companies at the intersections of healthcare, technology and consumer empowerment where there is maximum opportunity for impact. I have worked with founding partner Lynne Chou O’Keefe for many years and know that her industry experience as an operator and investor will enable Define to build a portfolio of high performing companies with the ability to transform healthcare.”
Central to Define’s investment thesis is the unprecedented opportunity in the intersection of healthcare, technology, and consumer trends. We believe the front door of healthcare will emulate any other consumer experience. Data liquidity and analytic platforms will deliver a personalized experience, and therapeutics and services will be delivered digitally. Define has already partnered with companies that exemplify these trends: HIMS, a direct to consumer digital health and wellness company; Tia, a next generation women’s healthcare platform; Verana Health, specialty clinical data to empower physicians and accelerate research for patients; Unite Us, a social determinates of health platform coordinating care networks of health and community service providers; Cohere Health, a value based care platform for payers, providers and consumers; and, Lightship, direct-to-patient clinical research solutions.
We want to define partnership with our companies. Healthcare is hard and being an entrepreneur innovating in healthcare is even harder. Digital health entrepreneurs deserve investors that have real digital health expertise and experience in building companies in the space. Therefore, we partner with founders to leverage our healthcare operating experience and network of digital health industry contacts and talent to build teams and scale companies. Glen Tullman, Executive Chairman and former CEO of Livongo said it best: “Lynne is a great partner with her portfolio companies, pushing them to think about next steps and how to scale. She was an invaluable board member at Livongo always asking the tough questions to make sure we were prepared.”
Our goal is to define change in healthcare through the fund and the companies with which we partner. Healthcare has to change and it has to change now, so we are driving to that with every thought, every action, and every partnership. We have no time to waste and so the journey begins…