Flatiron Health, the developers of an intelligent oncology data platform, has raised $8 million in a Series A round of funding led by Google Ventures with participation from First Round Capital, Laboratory Corporation of America, Great Oaks Capital, The Social+Capital Partnership, SV Angel, IA Ventures and angel investors. Angels in the round include Chris Dixon, Jared Hecht, Ken Fox, Aaron Levie, Jack Abraham, David Tisch and Ed Zimmerman. As a part of the financing, Dr. Krishna Yeshwant, general partner at Google Ventures, has joined Flatiron Health’s board.
Flatiron Health is the brainchild of Invite Media founders Nat Turner and Zach Weinberg. The duo sold their bidding exchange software and advertising technology company to Google in 2010 for a reported $80 million. After the acquisition, Turner and Weinberg spent time at Google, but were also making angel investments on the side in the healthcare industry and beyond.
Turner says he started seeing the possibilities of disrupting the healthcare space with data-mining technology and cloud-based software, but didn’t have a focus until he and his co-founder began noticing a particular problem in the oncology industry.
One of the turning points was when Turner’s seven-year-old cousin was diagnosed with Leukemia. Turner says that although the diagnosis was made, the actual determination of what type of cancer and the effects of chemotherapy and other medical issues were not properly administrated. Fortunately, Turner’s family member was able to consult other doctors and was diagnosed properly (and thankfully is on the road to recovery, says Turner), but he saw a big gap in how medical data was being analyzed to benefit cancer patients and help their overall prognosis.
The pair began to investigate the inner workings of the oncology industry and realized that most cancer care centers, oncologists and researchers were deprived of even the most basic data analysis tools that other industries used daily.
So Turner and Weinberg decided to start another company to help solve this problem. The result, Flatiron Health, is building an “oncology data platform”, which allows cancer care providers to aggregate, structure and mine their clinical oncology data.
Specifically, the platform allows institutions to monitor their adherence to national cancer care guidelines of care, monitor and benchmark themselves against hundreds of metrics related to cancer care, automate their tumor registry, match patients to clinical trials in real-time, and build new tools on top of the structured database that Flatiron enables.
At a basic level, the SaaS provides oncologists and hospitals with a more comprehensive view of their patient population, and what cancers they are facing. Through the platform, administrators and clinicians gain deep analytics for business and clinical intelligence, resource utilization, treatment patterns, network management and research.
Turner says the new funds will be used to expand Flatiron Health’s engineering and product teams. Flatiron Health, which has 12 employees, is in private beta with a select group of providers and other partners in the United States. The startup has signed on five major hospital systems (all on the East Coast and primarily Northeast), including a well-known academic cancer center.
The next step, says Turner, is to see how these pilot programs perform and ready the public beta of the product when the software is ready.