Startup Florence acquires Zipnosis from Bright Health to build out telehealth services

Editor's note: This story has been updated to accurately report the timing of the process of the potential sale of Bright's MA business. 

On the heels of its official launch last month, health tech startup Florence picked up Zipnosis from Bright Health to expand its virtual care capabilities.

Bright Health, which is looking to shed business lines as it tries to stave off bankruptcy, bought the white-labeled virtual care solution just two years ago. Bright Health revealed March 1 that it had overdrawn its credit and would need to secure $300 million by the end of April to stay afloat.

The embattled insurtech secured an extension to its credit facility through June 30, giving it a few extra months to avoid going belly-up. To ensure it qualifies for the extension, the company must deliver an initial draft purchase agreement to one or more interested buyers for its California Medicare Advantage business by the end of the month, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Florence said the Zipnosis acquisition was an all-cash deal but did not disclose how much it paid for the company.

Florence, a patient intake and tracking technology startup, launched in April with $20 million in seed funding backed by Thrive Capital, GV (Google Ventures) and Salesforce Ventures to scale up its clinical capacity management software.

Starting with emergency departments, the company aims to digitally streamline patient access, increase capacity and drive efficiency for healthcare workers.

By picking up Zipnosis, Florence will broaden its product offerings with synchronous and asynchronous virtual care with an eye toward creating a consumer-centric interface that engages patients at every stage of their journey across virtual and physical care to help manage patient capacity, executives said.

Florence is working with over 40 leading health systems, most recently having launched with Luminis Health in Maryland.

“Zipnosis’ asynchronous telemedicine solution is the best in the industry and perfectly aligns with Florence’s vision to create capacity to care in physical settings,” said Aniq Rahman, CEO of Florence, in a statement. “Together, we’ll create exceptional healthcare experiences for patients virtually and in-clinic while freeing up time for clinicians to focus on what they do best, care for patients.”

Zipnosis was founded in 2009 and provides a telehealth platform being used at more than 50 health systems including Ballad Health, SSM Health, the Medical University of South Carolina and Allina Health. The company offers device-agnostic, asynchronous virtual care aimed at providing both patients and employees greater convenience and efficiency when accessing care.

Zipnosis has facilitated 4.5 million patient encounters and engaged 3,500 physicians.

Now a 60-person health tech company, Zipnosis says its technology enables physicians to treat patients faster than a video visit or in-person care. The company says it boosts patient accessibility and automates 99% of administrative work. As a result, physicians are able to treat more patients while allocating additional time to those with greater needs, executives said.

Florence is developing products across multiple sites of care, starting with emergency departments. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, there were 131.3 million visits to U.S. emergency rooms in 2020.

The startup designed ER patient intake software that rivals consumer-focused industries, according to Rahman. Patients can track their journey via smartphone, update clinical information, control prescription fulfillment, initiate self-discharge when appropriate and schedule follow-up appointments.