Bright Health snaps up Zipnosis to build out telehealth services

Startup insurer Bright Health has acquired Zipnosis to strengthen its position in the telehealth market.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The combination of the two companies reflects a shared vision: lowering costs and providing greater access to quality, affordable, personalized care, according to a press release issued by Cain Brothers, Zipnosis’ financial adviser.

Zipnosis, which launched in 2009, provides a telehealth platform being used at nearly 60 large health systems across the country. The company offers device-agnostic virtual care aimed at providing both patients and employees greater convenience and efficiency when accessing care. In 2020, Zipnosis screened and treated more than 2 million patients, according to the company.

Zipnosis’ investors include Ascension Ventures, Safeguard Scientifics, Hyde Park Ventures and Waterline Ventures.

RELATED: Bright Health to buy California health plan, further growing its MA reach

Bright Health was co-founded in 2015 by Bob Sheehy, the former CEO of insurance giant UnitedHealth Group Inc. The company offers diversified health products and managed care services to over 500,000 consumers in 13 states and more than 50 markets.

The insurance technology startup raised $500 million in a series E funding round in September and has raised $1.6 billion to date, according to Crunchbase. Bright Health’s lead investors include Blackstone, T. Rowe Price, NEA, Bessemer Venture Partners and Tiger Global Management.

Bright Health delivers high-quality virtual and in-person clinical care to over 220,000 patients through approximately 40 owned and managed advanced risk-bearing primary care clinics, according to the company.

The company has been closely watched by industry leaders. The insurer works exclusively with one health system in each market to improve care coordination and improve the patient experience. 

RELATED: Cigna's Evernorth to acquire telehealth company MDLive

The deal to acquire Zipnosis comes one week after Bloomberg reported that the company plans to go public. Bright Health plans to raise at least $1 billion in an IPO as soon as late in the second quarter, according to Bloomberg, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

Insurance companies have been making major moves into telehealth as the COVID-19 pandemic drives rapid adoption of virtual care. Insurance startup Oscar Health launched a $0 Virtual Primary Care last year. That platform offers a slew of digital and in-home services to its individual and family plan members in 10 markets, including Houston, Miami, New York City and Los Angeles, at no cost, the company said.

Insurance giant Cigna plans to acquire telehealth platform MDLive. The insurer has been a longtime partner of and an investor in MDLive and will fold it into its Evernorth subsidiary, which houses its health services business. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021, pending regulatory approvals.