HealthTech VCs, fundraising in August, reducing churn, North, and co-ops as startups

What tech gets right about healthcare

This week, our long-time healthtech correspondent Sarah Buhr talked to leading health VCs Phin Barnes of First Round Capital, Matt Ocko of DCVC, and Nick Naclerio of Illumina Ventures about what they are seeing in the healthtech ecosystem, how they are thinking about investments in the space, as well as the reasons behind why they led their recent deals in health startups.

[DCVC’s] thesis is simple: if the cost for superior, life-saving care is half to 10x less, and results are 10-100 times better, then adoption happens quickly, and hospitals and insurance companies are hard-pressed to say no to saving money while lives are saved. Some of the healthcare companies we have invested in have achieved dramatic results to help deliver “disruption from within”.

One example is Karius, which uses genomics and AI to advance infectious disease diagnostics. The company can recognize almost every pathogen mankind has ever encountered at the genomic level.

Using machine learning algorithms that allow for rapid analysis of complex genomic data, they are pioneering new testing methodologies to accurately detect and characterize infectious diseases. Instead of relying on a century-old method developed by Louis Pasteur that can take weeks for a result, the Karius gene-based blood test that can return results in a day.

This can make the difference between life and death. And Karius’ technology is backed by multiple large-scale studies, peer-reviewed publications, and a delivery and reimbursement model that satisfies both doctors and administrators in the existing framework of the healthcare system.

How to fundraise in August

Fundraising is always brutal (even if journalists never cover the gritty and gory details). And August would seemingly be the most brutal month to fundraise, what with everyone on vacation. The reality though is that while you can’t fundraise in August the way you might in September or October, there are a lot of strategies you can use to take advantage of the uniquely relaxed tenor that August offers. I provide some context for how to fundraise in August, as well as some tactics to implement to maximize your fundraising efficiency in the fall.