Axios Pro: Health Tech Deals

January 20, 2022

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1 big thing: Health tech & fintech unite 💑

Illustration of two brains overlapping to form a Venn diagram

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Looking to modernize how health care constituents pay and supply one another, industry veteran Dunston Almeida has launched a new company with a “nine-figure” commitment from New Enterprise Associates.

What’s happening: The new company, triValence, is building next-gen infrastructure to automate B2B supply-chain management and payment processes, Almeida tells Sarah.

  • In addition to Almeida, a former Zelis, eviCore and Medco executive, triValence has assembled executives with past experience at CVS, Inovalon, John Hopkins, Optum and Symplr.
  • Strategic advisers include former GE and Athenahealth CEO Jeff Immelt and ex-White House policy director Kavita Patel. Almeida says triValence aims for a 50% female leadership team.

Why it matters: The health care payments and supply chain ecosystem is inefficient and ripe for change. Providers manage vendors and systems that are siloed, and processes remain largely paper-based and manual.

  • Most health care payments innovation has focused on the consumer, whereas the B2B universe — despite its size — has lagged.
  • “There’s big demand because nobody is doing it,” Almeida says. “It’s boring. Not sexy. It’s infrastructure. It’s hard to do.”

What he found: Almeida spent time examining the strategies and best practices of fintechs like Stripe and Plaid before launching his new venture.

  • “A fintech company doesn’t make money from processing transactions; they are capturing massive amounts of data, then de-identifying it. If we are successful, we can use the data for value-based contracting.”

Between the lines: NEA has a strong track record when it comes to funding company incubation, but the VC is extremely selective on this front. Its last three founding projects are:

  • Radiology Partners, founded in 2012, and now the largest imaging business in the country.
  • Strive Health, founded in 2017, and now among the fastest-growing valued-based kidney care providers.
  • AllyAlign, founded as SeniorHousing in 2020 to set up Medicare Advantage I-SNPs and D-SNPs for seniors.

One fun thing: triValence is named after the Valence bond theory, an explanation for the chemical bonding of two atoms.

  • Likewise, Almeida says, triValence is trying to create connectivity between the different stakeholders in the health care supply chain — manufacturers, distributors and physicians — all the while marrying health tech, fintech and data.

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