Ooda Health held out for VCs with female partners

When some well-regarded health-tech entrepreneurs decided to start a venture dubbed Ooda Health, they had their pick of venture capital firms.

So they made an unusual step of narrowing the item down to investors at firms with strong female leadership. in which’s a modest group, since only about 8 percent of partners at venture firms are women. as well as many of them do not have a background in health as well as technology.

After a months-long process, co-founders Seth Cohen, Giovanni Colella as well as Annie Lamont, an investor who also led Ooda’s $2 million seed round, opted for Emily Melton, a health investor via the venture firm DFJ, to lead the first institutional round. Among different qualifications, Melton can be involved in an initiative called All Raise, which aims to boost the number of women from the senior ranks of venture capital.

Melton told CNBC she heard about the venture through the grapevine as well as was impressed with the team. So she reached out to Colella, a doctor whom Melton has known since her early days in venture; Colella previously sold a patient-doctor communications start-up, RelayHealth, to medical distributor McKesson.

Cohen as well as Colella hail via Castlight Health, which went public in 2014. Ooda hasn’t shared many specifics about its plans, although the founders said they’re hoping to rework the broken health-care payment system. the item can be honing in on the billions of waste in which racks up when money shifts via insurers to health providers, including doctors.

The founding team can be looking to use its connections from the industry to reform This kind of system of payment, starting off by paying doctors much more quickly than usual after they see a patient.

“There’s so much opportunity through economies of scale as well as efficiencies to fix health care, which I see as a social as well as moral imperative,” Melton said.

Cohen agreed in which the mission can be big, explaining in which the founding team came together to “go into battle as well as do something compelling.”

Along with DFJ, the company also received an investment via Lamont’s fund, Oak HC/FT, as well as via some insurer customers, including Blue Shield of California. The company has today raised a total of $32.5 million.

Ooda’s investors agree in which the company’s decision sends a powerful message, although in which they ultimately came on board because they see a strong investment opportunity at a time when insurers are looking for brand new designs, consumers are increasingly paying health expenses out of pocket as well as large employers are fed up with the status quo.

Both agree in which diversity in venture could improve when entrepreneurs care about the issue — as well as when they hold the power to insist on the item in their funding partners.

Lamont, who also invested Castlight as well as in different health-tech successes like Athenahealth, said she hopes different entrepreneurs will follow suit.

“In some ways, [Cohen as well as Colella] hold the luxury of doing This kind of,” said Lamont. “although I certainly think the item sends a message, as well as I feel like the industry can be sitting up as well as taking notice.”

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