Health tech funding snapshot—Bright Health scores $635M; Oak HC/FT invests in behavioral health

Interoperability challenges are a major headache for healthcare organizations. One Tennessee startup is tackling the issue with products that can patch together disparate healthcare systems without extra coding or IT help.

The startup, Bridge Connector, scored $5 million in funding led by hedge fund billionaire Jeff Vinik, who owns NHL team Tampa Bay Lightning. Additional funds came from existing investor Axioma Ventures. The company has raised $25 million to date.

Bridge Connector is a workflow automation company that offers an integration platform as a service that connects health data systems without the need for code, the company said. Instead of taking months to deploy a traditional integration, Bridge Connector’s products can connect disparate data systems in a matter of days with a “no-code” platform.

The company works with large health systems, digital health companies and electronic health record vendors to serve as the “integration layer,” Bridge Connector CEO David Wenger told FierceHealthcare.

Bridge Connector’s product relies on a library of existing connections to configure new ones. Other companies in the space are developing application programming interfaces (APIs), which require coding. Bridge Connector’s products can connect through those APIs, Wenger said.

“The trend in the market is that people don’t want the data to live in siloes anymore; the government doesn’t want data to live in siloes anymore. We can help solve interoperability,” he said.

Here's a snapshot of other health IT funding deals of $5 million or more in December:

  • Health insurance startup: Bright Health landed a $635 million oversubscribed series D funding round led by NEA which included investments from Bessemer Venture Partners, Cross Creek Advisors, Declaration Partners, Flare Capital Partners, Greenspring Associates, Meritech Capital, Redpoint Ventures and Town Hall Ventures. This brings to more than $1 billion the amount of money raised by Bright Health since early 2016, the company said. The funding comes as the health insurance startup has expanded its health plan products including Medicare Advantage to several new markets for 2020.
  • Stroke care technologies: Imperative Care closed a series C round of financing of $85 million to support the commercial launch of the company’s portfolio, which is composed of the latest advances in neurovascular devices treating ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes. The round was co-led by new investors Ally Bridge Group and Bain Capital Life Sciences.  Existing Imperative Care investors Ascension Ventures, Delos Capital, Rock Springs Capital, 3H Health Investment and Incept LLC also participated in the round.
  • AI for cancer pathology: New York City-based startup Paige secured a series B funding round of $45 million led by Healthcare Venture Partners. Breyer Capital, Kenan Turnacioglu and other funds also participated in the round. The company has raised total capital over $70 million to date. Paige applies artificial intelligence-based methods such as machine learning to better map the pathology of cancer. The company launched in early 2018 based on technology created at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. The company will use the new capital to drive FDA clearance of its products and expand its portfolio, delving deeper into cancer pathology, novel biomarkers and prognostic capabilities.
  • Aussie AI pioneer:, a Sydney-based healthcare artificial intelligence company, completed its first capital raise of $29 million. The funding round was led by Blackbird Ventures, with Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing's VC firm Horizons Ventures joining in alongside Skip Capital and Ramsay Health Care. The startup uses AI to predict IVF pregnancies. The company was founded in 2018 by two brothers—Aengus Tran, a clinician and AI engineer, and Dimitry Tran, a healthcare technologist. The company also aims to use the funds to help develop new applications for AI in areas including radiology, pathology and hospital operation.
  • Needle-free blood draw: Velano Vascular, maker of a needle-free blood draw system, has closed a second tranche of new financing with $25 million to put toward its commercialization and launch of additional access products and medical devices for the inpatient setting, FierceBiotech reported. The companies investors include Kapor Capital, White Owl Capital Partners and Utah-based health system Intermountain Healthcare.
  • Fertility clinic technology: Healthcare technology company TMRW Life Sciences landed $25 million in a series B funding round, led by 5AM Ventures, bringing total investment in the company to $39 million in just one year. The company has created the world's first operating system for software-guided embryology and cryo-specimen management. The company’s technology helps to update infrastructure at IVF clinics to keep up with IVF’s growing demand. TMRW provides a 100% physical and digital chain of custody, protecting and tracking eggs, embryos and sperm through RFID-enabled technology.
  • Behavioral health platform: Builders VC led a $7.5 million series A funding round in behavioral health company NeuroFlow. Dreamit Ventures, Spring Point Partners, Red & Blue Ventures and AWT Private Investments also participated in the round. NeuroFlow’s platform aggregates mental health data and builds comprehensive patient profiles, which care teams can use to identify patterns and treatment decisions. The company said it currently has about 25,000 patients on its platform and has been implemented at more than 200 healthcare facilities across the country.
  • Nurse management platform: Laudio, a personalized management platform for healthcare organizations, landed $7.3 million in series A funding. InHealth Ventures and .406 Ventures co-led the round, joined by MemorialCare Innovation Fund. Laudio delivers an automated platform for health systems to drive real-time, personalized engagement between nurse managers and their teams, creating a culture that supports nurse management and reduces nurse turnover and burnout.
  • Healthcare services marketplace: The Zero Card, a data-driven healthcare marketplace for self-funded employers, secured $7 million in series A funding. The George Kaiser Family Foundation led the round, joined by Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund.  The company’s digital health platform and financial tech model enables self-funded employers to cut episodic healthcare costs up to 50%, according to the company. The Zero Card matches plan members with the right healthcare providers based on cost, quality and convenience. 
  • Children’s behavioral health: One in five children have a behavioral health condition, but only 20% of those children receive treatment. Emilio Health developed a behavioral health home for children and their families. The company provides care through a multidisciplinary team, clinically validated treatment plans and a digital platform for scheduling, tracking progress and teletherapy. Emilio Health raised $5 million in seed funding from Oak HC/FT. The funding will be used to launch the first Emilio Health clinics and digital platform and continue to build the company’s leadership team.

Also, check out funding deals in November and October.