Kevin Ryan – the New York-based investor and entrepreneur who first rose to prominence as CEO of the first online advertising company DoubleClick – could have started or joined a traditional venture capital firm a few years ago. many years. Instead, he started business after business with much of his own capital up front to get them started. Think Business Insider and Gilt Groupe, MongoDB and Zola.
Ryan is still there, investing a $ 500 million evergreen fund with mostly personal capital through a growing team that also contributes to the fund and helps both fund startups and them. incubate. Interestingly, although Ryan has no previous healthcare experience, a larger portion of those dollars was spent on healthcare as well. His investment company, AlleyCorp, has already made 20 health-related bets in recent years. Now he is carving out $ 100 million for a new fund to double the industry.
The fund, chaired by Ryan, is headed by Brenton Fargnoli, MD, a former resident physician at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston who was able to arrange a research internship with Flatiron Health in 2016, which brought him to New York City. and in the world of entrepreneurship. (Fargnoli went on to serve a dual role, working as a medical director at Flatiron and also as an attending physician at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.)
Fargnoli is joined by another MD, Jeff De Flavio, a doctor-entrepreneur who has started many businesses, including Storm, a holistic alcohol recovery program supported by AlleyCorp, and Health Pearl, a group of general practitioners that he created within AlleyCorp and who has just received A Series Bracket directed by Andreessen Horowitz.
The team also includes medical students Omar Njie and Sherman Leung, as well as Jane Suh, who previously worked at Andreessen Horowitz.
We spoke earlier this week with Fargnoli, who said the general idea of the new fund is to focus on startups that improve the quality of care for patients, increase access to care for patients and decrease costs. costs, by writing initial checks of $ 1 million to $ 3 million. .
We also spoke at length about the small but growing world of medical entrepreneurship, in which Fargnoli himself was trained by Krishna Yeshwant, physician, programmer and general partner of GV who completed his own residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he has practiced for several years and where he apparently remains an inspiration to others. “Everyone knows Krishna,” Fargnoli said.
Indeed, he said that AlleyCorp now has nine “doctorpreneurs” in its portfolio and that Ryan, just before the pandemic, organized a rally of 100 medical doctors at his home. “It’s really part of this next generation [of healthcare] which merges clinic with technology, ”Fargnoli noted.
Certainly, AlleyCorp isn’t alone in seeing a huge opportunity in healthcare and looking to physicians for help both in understanding underserved areas of their industries, as well as helping to find solutions. In addition to healthcare-focused funds that have for years brought doctors into the fold, generalist practices like Andreessen Horowitz have also hired doctors more aggressively. Among them: Vineeta Agarwala, one of a16z’s new general partners, who earlier in his career saw patients. In fact, she led the company’s investment in Pearl Health.