With $50M, Circulo will tackle Medicaid insurance using Olive's AI tech

Newly unveiled Circulo shares investors and a CEO with the healthcare automation unicorn.
By Dave Muoio
01:03 pm
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Circulo Health, a Columbus, Ohio-based insurtech startup targeting the Medicaid population, has announced itself with the backing of $50 million from Drive Capital, General Catalyst, Oack HC/FT and SVB Capital.

WHAT IT DOES

Circulo is still very much in its early days. Its public presence so far is a sparse homepage that connects to a LinkedIn page and an email address for interested job seekers. Billing itself as "the future of Medicaid," the company said in its funding announcement that it is looking to disrupt the Medicaid Managed Care space by "bringing bold new approaches and Internet-scale technology" to Medicaid's 75 million members.

What's noteworthy about the startup is its connections to Olive, an artificial intelligence unicorn that automates tedious, high-volume administration tasks for healthcare organizations.

Per the announcement, Circulo's business will be built on the back of Olive's tech platform, providing the young insurtech company with "automation, intelligence, network tools and AI coworker technologies."

All of Circulo's initial investors already hold positions in Olive. What's more, Olive CEO Sean Lane will also be holding the reigns of this new tech-driven push into the Medicaid space.

"Circulo is going to use Olive's unique platform to build the Medicaid insurance company of the future from scratch, right here in Columbus, Ohio – the emerging insurtech capital of the U.S." Lane said in a statement.

"There's no better place to build and grow a high-tech insurance company and there's no better mission than to do it to serve the country's most underserved population."

WHAT IT'S FOR

The startup is looking to get off the ground by adding "dozens" of new hires to its team as soon as possible, according to the announcement.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

Circulo's focus on the Medicaid Managed Care population keeps it at least partly out of the way of some of the biggest names in insurtech, which so far have focused on individual, group and Medicare Advantage markets.

Chief among these players is Oscar Health, a New York City-based company that was founded in 2012 and just today kicked off its recently announced initial public offering (about 31 million shares with prices expected to fall between $32 and $34 per share).

Others include Bright Health, which raised half a billion to expand into small business plans in September, and Clover Health, which recently found itself fending off a critical short seller report in the run-up to its special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger.

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