Optum Ventures, the corporate investment arm of UHG’s Optum division, has significantly expanded the amount dry powder available to “invest in early-stage companies that are poised to disrupt the status quo.”
A paywalled report in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal says that what began as $250m committed to digital startups has since ballooned to $600m in size, according to a first-quarter earnings call held earlier today:
“During a conference call with analysts, UnitedHealth CEO David Wichmann said Optum Ventures will play a big role in “open source innovation” at the company. Optum Ventures has an “extremely strong” deal pipeline, said Optum CEO Larry Renfro during the call, and is targeting health-analytics, artificial intelligence, big data and machine learning companies, plus digital care and services businesses.”
Last month, former Optum CEO Larry Renfro stepped in to lead the venture arm as the relatively young fund ramps up with geographically split between Boston, and Silicon Valley; disclosed fund investments to date include: Buoy Health, Shyft Analytics, Apervita, and Mindstrong.
For a thorough list of investment activity by similarly local corporate venture funds, see our ongoing list.