The idea sounds almost too simple. Create a version of LinkedIn that’s specifically for the healthcare industry, where professionals can find out not just who has what credentials, but also learn about the research those professionals are conducting and the specialties they have.
In the middle of a global pandemic, when industry insiders are all trying to find out who is an expert in particular fields of medicine that are most impacted by a novel virus spreading like wildfire around the world, that simple idea becomes a necessity.
That’s the situation that H1, a startup which just raised $58 million in new financing, found themselves in as the pandemic hit American shores earlier this year.
The company only graduated from Y Combinator in January, and now, less than a year later is closing on more than $70 million in total financing.
Doubling down on its previous investment in the company is Menlo Ventures, which along with the growth-stage investment firm IVP co-led the new financing for the company.
Their rationale for investing can be attributed to H1’s explosive growth. The company now has 250 employees after launching from Y Combinator just 12 months ago. Already a player in the U.S., H1 is looking to expand to Europe and Asia in 2021, and counts 13 of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies as its clients. As of its last tally, the company already had profiles on more than 9 million healthcare professionals worldwide.
According to one person with knowledge of the company’s fundraising history, Menlo Ventures was so pleased with the company’s performance that it offered tens of millions of dollars in pre-emptive financing.
“We have created a platform for the healthcare ecosystem to connect in the same way LinkedIn connected professional workers in the early 2000s. There hasn’t been a global platform like H1 before that has connected industry to the right doctors the way H1 does,” said H1 co-founder and CEO Ariel Katz. “This next round of funding, with our excellent investment group, including Menlo who has been a great partner for us, will help us continue to become the largest healthcare professional platform and ultimately create a healthier future.”
Menlo Ventures certainly thinks so.
“When we started working with H1, we could already see early evidence of product-market fit, including both early ‘beachhead’ pharma deals and good logo velocity in smaller biotechs. Feedback from customers was stellar, both in terms of product value and commitment to customer success by the H1 team,” wrote Menlo Ventures partners Greg Yap and JP Sanday in a blog post. “One of our diligence intros even turned into a multi-million dollar customer and investor. But H1 was clearly still at an early stage of maturity for supporting large demanding enterprise customers. Now, at the Series B, H1 has ramped up execution, winning 13 of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies as customers and meeting top-tier venture metrics in gross retention, net retention, and sales efficiency.”