Alphabet has invested $375 million in heath insurtech startup Oscar Health, a deal that sees the Google parent receive a 10% share in the six-year-old, New York-based company.
Oscar’s vision of a more streamlined, agile and tailored healthcare experience has struck a chord with investors; a $165 million round of funding back in March – led by Founders Fund, with participation from Alphabet’s Capital G growth investment arm and its Verily life sciences segment – resulted in the startup reaching a $3 billion evaluation.
“We can hire more engineers, we can hire more data scientists, more product designers, more smart clinicians who can think about health care a different way,” Oscar co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mario Schlosser told Wired.
“It’s the acceleration of that product roadmap that fascinates us the most. The second, more tangible piece, is that we’re launching new product lines.”
The deal also has long-time Google employee and former CEO, Salar Kamangar joining Oscar’s board.
Oscar plans on getting into Medicare Advantage in 2020, a deviation from the current offerings in the individual and employer insurance markets; Medicare is understood to represent a new vertical for the company, adding to its existing focus on both the individual and employer insurance markets.
“Oscar will accelerate the pursuit of its mission: to make our healthcare system work for consumers,” Schlosser told TechCrunch.
“We will continue to build a member experience that lowers costs and improves care, and to bring Oscar to more people – deepening our expansion into the individual and small business markets while entering a new business segment, Medicare Advantage, in 2020.”