Last week Silicon Valley-based start-up HealthTap announced it had secured $2.35 million in its first round of funding from Mohr Davidow Ventures and a group of angel investors including Esther Dyson, Mark Leslie, Aaron Patzer (founder and former CEO of Mint.com) and others. While HealthTap's offering is currently in private beta the startup plans to create an "expert health companion" that improves interactivity between physicians and patients. Mobile components for the Companion are also in the works, according to the company.
HealthTap founder and CEO Ron Gutman only made vague comments about HealthTap's plans in the company's press release: “This funding allows us to focus 100 percent of our resources on accomplishing our vision: to create a healthier, happier world – one decision at a time. We have the resources, leadership and expertise to create a solution that delivers tailored knowledge from doctors to users seeking useful and actionable health information online.”
Mohr Davidow's Bill Ericson added a little more detail:
“HealthTap is integrating personalization, game dynamics, and social networking to increase our engagement with our health and well-being. Consumers and physicians are increasingly joining the online conversation, and interactive health deserves the close attention of the investment community," Ericson, a general partner at MDV stated in the press release.
HealthTap founder Gutman is perhaps best known for his previous startup, WellSphere, which he sold to HealthCentral in early 2009 for an undisclosed amount. WellSphere reportedly had $3 million in funding at the time of acquisition. Since then Gutman has been an angel investor, and advisor to the SMArt Initiative and the recently announced mHealth and Health 2.0 incubator Rock Health.
For more on the HealthTap deal, read the press release below:
HealthTap Announces $2.35 Million in Seed Funding
Leading Silicon Valley Investors Support Innovative Interactive Health Startup
PALO ALTO, Calif. – March 23, 2011 – HealthTap (www.healthtap.com), the new Silicon Valley-based Expert Health Companion, announced today that it has raised $2.35 million in a Convertible Note Seed financing led by Mohr Davidow Ventures. Mohr Davidow invests in businesses that address significant challenges and opportunities, including personalizing medicine – and is joined in the round by notable angel investors best known for leading the world’s push toward interactivity and personalization.
The list of angels includes Esther Dyson, chairman of EDventure; Mark Leslie, founder and managing director of Leslie Ventures, Stanford professor, and former CEO of Veritas Software; Aaron Patzer, founder and former CEO of Mint.com; and several others. HealthTap is currently in private beta.
HealthTap is pioneering the field of Interactive Health, where life science and interactive software intersect. HealthTap’s Expert Health Companion is bringing personalization and interactivity to medicine for both physicians and their patients, through the incredible power of data and the Internet.
“HealthTap is helping define the new field of ‘interactive health’ – the sector that is moving consumer health information to new platforms, like smartphones and tablets, to provide portability and immediate access to actionable information,” said Bill Ericson, general partner at Mohr Davidow Ventures. “HealthTap is integrating personalization, game dynamics, and social networking to increase our engagement with our health and well-being. Consumers and physicians are increasingly joining the online conversation, and interactive health deserves the close attention of the investment community. HealthTap demonstrates the potential of this emerging space.”
“The team of top investors, advisors and employees who have joined us, speaks to the incredible need for what we’re working to accomplish at HealthTap,” said HealthTap founder and CEO Ron Gutman. “This funding allows us to focus 100 percent of our resources on accomplishing our vision: to create a healthier, happier world – one decision at a time. We have the resources, leadership and expertise to create a solution that delivers tailored knowledge from doctors to users seeking useful and actionable health information online.”
HealthTap will use the funding to further enhance its central product, currently in private beta, and build out its extensive network of doctors and people who seek their expertise.
“Ron and his team are tackling a difficult problem with an incredibly exciting solution,” said Aaron Patzer, vice president and general manager of Intuit’s Personal Finance Group and founder of Mint.com. “They’re harnessing a dense mess of complicated medical data and building a simple, easy-to-use tool for everyday people who need a better, more personal online health experience. Mint’s success has shown the power of the Internet to take what’s painful and confusing and make it personal and friendly. HealthTap will do that in Interactive Health.”
Prior to founding HealthTap, Ron founded Wellsphere, a leading online consumer health 2.0 company that developed the world’s largest community of independent health writers, and became one of the largest health sites on the Internet, serving more than 100 million users (acquired in early 2009). Prior to that, as a graduate student at Stanford University, Ron organized and led a multidisciplinary group of faculty and graduate students from the schools of Engineering, Medicine, Business, Law and Psychology to conduct research in personalized health and design ways to help people live healthier, happier lives. He is an angel investor, as well as an advisor to early stage technology companies, Harvard Medical School’s SMArt Initiative (“Substitutable Medical Apps, reusable technologies”) and new interactive health incubator Rock Health. He also serves as the curator of TEDx Silicon Valley.
“Aneesh Chopra, the chief technology officer of the United States, recently told audiences at both the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMMS) and South By Southwest (SXSW) conferences that today is the best time to be a healthcare entrepreneur in America," continued Gutman. “There is no doubt in my mind that he is right – and we now have both the human and the actual capital to create a standout solution in this exciting new space of Interactive Health – and change the world for the better.”