Roche's recently announced acquisition of the oncology data company Flatiron Health for $2.1 billion represents a robust validation of the much-discussed but infrequently realized hypothesis that technology entrepreneurs who can turn health data into actionable insights can capture significant value for this accomplishment. Four questions underlying this deal (a transaction first reported, as usual, by Chrissy Farr) are: What is the Flatiron business model? What makes Flatiron different from other health data companies?
Collective Health's approach to self-insured employer health plans
The wheels on this are already turning. For example, Collective Health, a startup that's raised $119 million from investors including Peter Thiel's Founders Fund and GV since getting its start in 2013, works with employers to build out plans that fit their needs, adding technology with the hope of making things like submitting claims and reading bills easier than it tends to be. Chief Health Officer Dr. Rajaie Batniji cofounded Collective Health with CEO Ali Diab, who was working in technology, including working on the search team at Yahoo. At the same time, Batniji was going the academic route, getting a PhD in healthcare financing. "I was taking the academic route thinking I'd make the system better by writing papers about it," Batniji said.
Alphabet-backed Flatiron Health is being acquired by Roche for $2.1 Billion
Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche Group is buying Flatiron Health, an Alphabet-backed cancer-focused start-up founded by two former Google employees, according to sources familiar with the matter. The company will pay $1.9 billion, adding to its existing stake, for a total value of $2.1 billion. The company has confirmed the deal in a press release. Flatiron was valued at $1.2 billion when it raised its last round from Roche in 2016. Medical distribution giant McKesson was also interested in buying the company, sources say. Alongside Alphabet's GV (formerly Google Ventures), Roche is one of the biggest backers in Flatiron, having led the most recent venture round of $175 million in 2016. It already owned 12% of the company. As part of the deal, Roche agreed to acquire several of the company's software products, which was intended to put the company in a position to go public.
Meats and Poultry Just a Click Away
A new website from Porter Road, a chef-owned butcher shop in Nashville, sells meat from small farms, delivered fresh, nationally and within two days. James Peisker and Chris Carter opened their store in 2011 after having difficulty finding meat that satisfied them for their fledgling catering company. The meats and poultry are pasture-raised by farmers who do not use antibiotics or hormones on the animals. The Porter Road partners do their own butchering, dry-age meats for 14 days, and offer a range of cuts, though some are limited and wait-listed. Prices and shipping charges are moderate.
Fatherly's Father of the Year Awards
Captain401, now Human Interest, raises $11M to open build a 401(k) for small businesses
Pushing through a funding round is never an easy process — and for Captain401 co-founder Roger Lee, it was even more tricky this time around. That’s because Lee and his team raised $11 million right around the birth of his first baby. That gave Lee an even deeper appreciation and understanding for the need of robust employee benefits, which was part of the original goal of Captain401 — giving small businesses access to a 401(k). That goal is also the reason that, with the new fundraising, Captain401 is changing its name to Human Interest. The startup’s latest funding round was led by Wing VC, a firm founded by partners from Sequoia and Accel, as well as former Wealthfront CEO Adam Nash.
Oil & Gas Tech Startup RigUp Taps Private Equity
RigUp, an Austin, Texas-based energy industry’s marketplace for on-demand services and labor, raised a $15.8m Series B funding. Backers included Quantum Energy Partners and Global Reserve Group, Founders Fund and other existing investors. The company, which has also secured a $30m credit facility from Silicon Valley Bank, intends to use the capital to strengthen its product with enhanced mobile features and streamlined payment solutions and to continue to build the product and sales teams. Led by CEO and co-founder Xuan Yong, RigUp has leveraged its proprietary software to build a digital platform where buyers and service providers can connect and transact on a full range of oil field services. Its oilfield network platform enables buyers across the United States to streamline transactions and scale on demand by providing them access to 22,000+ service providers across 100+ service categories.
Bolt launches an Amazon-like checkout experience for the rest of online retail
A startup called Bolt wants to give e-commerce retailers a better shot at competing with Amazon. Operating in stealth for a year, the payments platform has grown to 100 online merchants who are now in various phases of roll out with its end-to-end solution for managing customer checkout, payment processing, and fraud detection. The company was officially founded in 2014, with an initial focus on using digital currency in online checkout by Ryan Breslow, who had left Stanford to pursue the idea. But after a year of experimenting, Breslow found there were other ways to improve the online payments experience on retailers’ sites. “The checkout experience isn’t great – when you click ‘checkout’ and it goes through the payments step in online shopping, there are actually dozens of different underlying tools that power that,” explains Breslow.
As Competition To Disrupt Home Sales Heats Up, Startup Knock Plans Rollout To 10 New Cities
As the competition to change the way that Americans buy and sell their homes heats up, startup Knock plans a 10-city rollout. Founded by former executives at real-estate listing site Trulia, Knock has been operating only in Atlanta since its 2016 launch, but with $33 million in venture funding from RRE, Redpoint, Greycroft and others, it’s ready to take its tech-enabled trade-in model bigger. The deal that New York-based Knock offers homeowners is this: If you want to sell your home and buy a new one, it will set up a trade for you so that you can move into the new house before the old one goes up for sale. Knock will pay for the new home with cash, then sell the old one, and do a swap with the homeowner once it sells. Knock gets the standard 3% commission on each of th
Allbirds is shaking up footwear with machine-washable wool shoes
Allbirds co-founder Tim Brown came up with the idea for his shoe company after hanging up his soccer cleats. Everything Brown had worn as a pro athlete in New Zealand, where he played for the All Whites, featured logos. He wanted something simpler, made out of natural materials. So he decided to make his own shoes out of wool. "I got lots of pats on the head," Brown said, describing the initial response. "I got told to leave that to people that know what they're doing."
SmithRx Raises $9M for Bespoke Drug Benefits Platform
SmithRx, a San Francisco based technology company and Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM), today announced that it has secured $9 million in Series A funding. Founders Fund led the investment round with participation from Blumberg Capital, NextGen Venture Partners, Box Group, and others. The financing will support SmithRx as it scales and delivers a broad technology solution to change the way pharmacy benefits are managed.