​​​​​​​Investors bet big on Clover's mission of data-driven care

Startup healthcare company Clover Health aims to use data to improve care for Medicare beneficiaries

Venture capitalists have now invested $300 million in startup Clover Health, which is still betting on its strategy of using data to improve care for Medicare beneficiaries. But its founder isn’t in a rush to expand outside New Jersey just yet.

The Garden State is Clover’s beta test of sorts, according to an article from Bloomberg, but it’s the startup’s base in Silicon Valley that has caught investors' attention. Mike Dixon, a partner at venture firm Sequoia Capital who also sits on Clover’s board, said the money coming in allows Clover to continue to innovate while serving its 19,000 members.

"This is one of the biggest opportunities to build a large company that I’ve come across,” Dixon told Bloomberg. 

Clover has looked seriously at expanding, according to the article, including a possible venture into Texas. But for now, Vivek Garipalli, Clover’s co-founder and CEO, told the publication he is wary of growing too much too soon.

Clover, which was founded in 2012, hasn’t been without its setbacks. Earlier this year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services fined the company for for marketing practices it deemed “misleading.” Some critics are also wary; one healthcare portfolio manager told Bloomberg that he believes such startups are overvalued, saying their technology isn't all that different from that of other payers.

However, Clover's leadership believes that its data-driven approach to care management is the future of healthcare. Garipalli told Bloomberg that the company's technology is about far more than paying insurance claims, but instead is a “learning machine” to improve health. To that end, Clover recently added data scientists whose backgrounds include number crunching for major banks and telecommunication companies.

Using data to coordinate care and helps keep costs low also allows Clover to offer a broader choice of providers, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Kris Gale previously told FierceHealthPayer.