Number crunching startup wins Fast Company award by putting health first

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lisa_suennenIt’s awards season, as anyone who watched the Grammys or Golden Globes and is anticipating the Oscars knows.  I can imagine it is very difficult for these award show judges to pick out who is “the best” when looking at music or actors.  It is similar to picking out which are America’s best emerging companies, which is what we venture/growth investors fancy as our job descriptions.  There are many different industries, many different descriptions of what makes greatness, but to actually be the recipient of one of these awards from industry experts and peers is a pretty big deal, reliant as it is on aligning so many people around what constitutes “the best” in idea, execution and management.  In the investment world the “award” is an investment when 99.99% of the other companies you see don’t get one.

seechangeI was thinking about this as I was rocking out to the Grammys (albeit in my pajamas and not clad in the hipster clothing that the attendees were wearing to cover the parts that were not meant to be seen).  When the show took a break, probably because all of the now over-65 year old rockers had to take their 35th trip to the men’s room,  I checked my email and saw the very exciting news last night that SeeChange Health, one of our Psilos portfolio companies, had received a prestigious innovation award, joining several of their Psilos portfolio company brethren on recent walks down the red carpet, as it were.  SeeChange was selected by FastCompany as number 20 on their 2013 list of the world’s 50 companies “whose innovations are having the greatest impacts across their industries and our culture as a whole.  SeeChange was selected, in part, for “making health — not healthcare costs — its top priority”

SeeChange is in good (if Fast) company, as it shares the top half of this Fast Company list with companies such as Nike, Google and Target in the big leagues and such innovative private companies as Uber, Pinterest and AirBnB.  You can find the link to SeeChange’s selection by clicking HERE and the entire list of Fast Company Top 50 Companies HERE.

We are very proud of SeeChange, a company that Psilos helped form and which started selling its wellness and prevention-oriented insurance products back in 2011 in the State of California and also nationally through an alliance with United Healthcare.  Today SeeChange is the fastest growing health plan in California and Colorado by new member growth.  In their fully insured business, SeeChange now has 34,000 members and is growing by over 2,000 members a month in this business segment.  This time last year the company had had 9,000 fully insured members.

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In addition to its fully insured products, SeeChange is also the  engine behind others’ value-based insurance programs, including all of UnitedHealthCare’s  value-based insurance programs.  Thus, through a large array of employers and health plans, more than 1.1 million consumers now participate in a value-based program powered by SeeChange Health Solutions, up from 400,000 in 2011. All of this growth led the company to $54 million in revenue in 2012, a number they expect to more than double in 2013.  And all of this while keeping their nether regions appropriately demure.

SeeChange joins fellow Psilos companies OmniGuide, PatientSafe Solutions and HealthEdge in their recent appearances on the national business awards red carpet.  Late last year OmniGuide was named to Deloitte’s 2012 Technology Fast 500, a list which ranks the fastest growing technology companies by percentage revenue growth from 2007-2011; PatientSafe Solutions was named number 24 on the Wall Street Journal’s 2012 Next Big Thing List, which features their view of the top 50 U.S. venture-backed start-ups; and HealthEdge was awarded the Best in Show designation at the 2012 Healthcare IT Summit.

Thinking about major awards, I can’t help but think of that funny scene in the movie A Christmas Story where the dad wins “a major award” and gets as his prize the lamp that looks like a go-go-dancer leg, complete with tassled skirt and fishnet stockings (no doubt a violation of the Grammy dress code).  Fortunately none of our portfolio companies are featuring that little gem in their reception areas, but it is gratifying to see this trend of major awards among our family and exciting to know this means that we aren’t the only ones who think they are destined for greatness.

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Lisa Suennen

By Lisa Suennen Psilos Group

Lisa Suennen is Managing Partner at Venture Valkyrie Consulting, LLC, a consulting firm providing advisory services to companies, organizations and private equity firms in the healthcare field. Additionally, Lisa is a Senior Advisor to Psilos Group, a healthcare-focused venture capital and growth equity firm that focuses on the healthcare information technology, healthcare services and medical device sectors. Lisa was a co-founder of Psilos Group and a Partner at the firm from 1998-2014. Prior to Psilos, Lisa was at Merit Behavioral Care (formerly American Biodyne, Inc), an $800mm behavioral healthcare company where she held various senior executive roles from its early start-up days through exit.
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