Why is tech still aiming for the healthcare industry? It seems full of endless regulatory hurdles or stories of misguided founders with no knowledge of the space, running headlong into it, only to fall on their faces.
Theranos is a prime example of a founder with zero health background or understanding of the industry — and just look what happened there! The company folded not long after founder Elizabeth Holmes came under criminal investigation and was barred from operating in her own labs for carelessly handling sensitive health data and test results.
But sometimes tech figures it out. It took years for 23andMe to breakthrough FDA regulations — it’s since more than tripled its business and moved into drug discovery.
And then there’s Oscar Health, which first made a mint on Obamacare and has since ventured into Medicare. Combined with Bright, the two health insurance startups have pulled in a whopping $3 billion so far.
It’s easy to shake our fists at fool-hardy founders hoping to cash in on an industry that cannot rely on the old motto “move fast and break things.” But it doesn’t have to be the code tech lives or dies by.
So which startups have the mojo to keep at it and rise to the top? Venture capitalists often get to see a lot before deciding to invest. So we asked a few of our favorite health VC’s to share their insights.