Savvy, a healthcare cooperative, has just raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Indie.vc.
Established as a cooperative that shares profits with its users, Savvy connects patients with healthcare companies and other providers looking to better serve people through products and services. Patients can take paid gigs that include tasks like interviews, focus groups and user testing.
Savvy is set up as a multi-stakeholder cooperative. Those stakeholders are divided into four classes: patients, Savvy employees, founders and investors. Up until now, Savvy has been entirely bootstrapped and sustained by its revenue, Savvy CEO Jen Horonjeff told TechCrunch via email.
“But as more and more companies are seeing that patient insights are critical to help their healthcare solutions find product-market fit, we need to scale up our operations to meet the demand,” she said. “This financing will allow us to expand our offerings, support more companies and, in turn, improve the lives of countless more patients.”
Cooperatives can oftentimes face trouble raising venture funding. That’s because their business models don’t generally align with the incentives of traditional venture capitalists, Horonjeff previously told me.
“I have to say a lot of investors are, first of all, not curious,” she said. “And those that are curious — and we’ve gone down the path with people like that — think we’re this cool new thing, but just don’t understand how it’s going to jive with the rest of their fund. So there aren’t great mechanisms in place to kind of bridge the gap between what people know and what the new economy could look like.”
For Indie.vc, which already takes a non-traditional approach to venture capital, co-ops fit into the firm’s vision. Indie.vc, which aims to be the last investment its founders need to take, is geared toward startups with founders who value preserving optionality and ownership.
As Indie.vc founder Bryce Roberts said in a statement, “Savvy represents everything we’d like to see in the future of impact business — shared ownership, diverse perspectives, and aligned incentives, tackling one of the largest industries on the planet.”