BOSTON – Optum, the health services business of UnitedHealth Group, has created a $250 million venture fund focused on investing in startup and early-stage companies whose innovations will help advance the health care system.
Optum Ventures invests in digital health companies that use data and insights to help improve consumers’ access to health care services and how care is delivered and paid for, and that make the health care system more reliable and easier to navigate.
“Optum Ventures is uniquely positioned to help develop and grow startups and early-stage companies through capital investment, Optum’s decades of experience in health care and our access to the health care marketplace,” said Larry Renfro, CEO of Optum and managing partner of Optum Ventures, in a statement.
Entrepreneurs working with Optum Ventures will get strategic guidance to support development and growth from a network of experts and relationships, as well as access to the company’s health care assets and analytics capabilities to research, test and innovate new solutions.
The initial investments of Optum Ventures include: Apervita, which provides a cloud-based analytics platform; Buoy Health, which has developed an artificial intelligence-powered digital health assistant; Mindstrong Health, which has developed a technology that uses machine learning and AI to assess a patient’s smartphone interactions to help diagnose and treat neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders; and SHYFT Analytics, which provides a cloud-based data and analytics platform for life sciences companies.
“Optum Ventures will be the partner of choice for companies developing innovations that help make health care work better for everyone,” said Renfro.