One of the largest health insurers in the US is launching a $250 million venture fund

Business InsiderCigna CEO David Cordani.
  • Cigna is launching a $US250 million venture fund called Cigna Ventures.
  • Cigna Ventures will be tasked with finding startups and growth stage companies in healthcare, specifically with focuses on analytics, digital health, retail, and managing and delivering care.
  • The hope is to tap into companies at earlier stages who might have new ways to make healthcare more affordable and simpler.

Cigna, one of the largest health insurers in the US, is getting serious about venture capital.

On Wednesday, the $US45 billion insurer said it had launched a $US250 million venture fund, called Cigna Ventures.

Cigna Ventures will be tasked with finding startups and growth stage companies in healthcare, specifically with focuses on analytics, digital health, retail, and managing and delivering care.

Tom Richards, senior vice president and global lead, strategy and business development at Cigna, who will be leading Cigna Ventures told Business Insider that the hope is to tap into companies at earlier stages who might have new ways to make healthcare more affordable and simpler.

“It seems like the right time to partner with innovative companies and to invest and partner with them to deliver value,” Richards said.

Cigna’s been investing in startups for the past five years, Richards said, including leading a funding round for Omada Health, a startup in the diabetes space, and telehealth company MDLIVE.

Cigna isn’t alone in backing healthcare startups – other big insurers including UnitedHealth Group and Humana have venture funds as part of their businesses. According to Silicon Valley Bank, corporations made up about 31% of series A biopharma investments.

Cigna’s in the process of closing its acquisition with pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts, a deal which is expect to pass regulatory scrutiny.

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