Collective Health: Transforming an Industry by Focusing on Individuals

by Mohamad MakhzoumiJun 17, 2019

When we first met Collective Health, it was 2014—American satisfaction with the health insurance industry had dipped to a 10-year low [1], the proliferation of mobile devices and cloud technology had already impacted major industries from IT to finance to real estate, and a new crop of startups were applying SaaS technology solutions across healthcare verticals—a trend that was increasing rapidly, and one which we followed closely. We focus on identifying companies that are addressing real issues within huge markets and partnering with the ones we believe have the talent and potential to be the leaders in their respective space—and Collective Health was all of this and more.

Collective Health is a healthcare technology company providing a Health Management System that empowers self-insured employers to optimize offerings and control spend, while providing consumers with easy-to-access and understand information about their coverage and personal health data. The company was founded by serial entrepreneur Ali Diab, and healthcare expert Rajaie Batniji to address growing frustration around the lack of digestible information available to healthcare consumers. Our early conviction around Collective was driven by their experienced team, sophisticated application of techynology, and consumer-centric approach. We initially invested in the Series B round in 2014, and have enthusiastically participated in every financing (C—which I blogged about here, D, and now E—announced today) since.

Over the past five years, we’ve witness firsthand Collective’s ability to deliver and build upon their mission to make it effortless to understand, navigate and pay for care. Ali and Rajaie initially decided to build a solution for employers as a means of accessing the broadest group of healthcare consumers, since more than 155 million Americans depend on employer sponsored healthcare—this approach has proven to be a win-win for both organizations and individuals alike—saving companies from unnecessary spending, sparing them the headache of managing multiple vendors, and helping them boost employee satisfaction, and providing people with better healthcare experiences, and the confidence to make the best care decisions for themselves and their families.

Collective has grown to more than 500 employees, spread across three offices; they have more than 45 active clients, and 140 partnerships (including several large, national providers) across the healthcare ecosystem; and perhaps most impressive—they help more than 200,000 members to understand and maximize their health benefits to receive better care. Their focus on member experience is evidenced by specialized programs (for example: chromic condition and maternity management, behavioral health, and fertility), a design centric, intuitive user interface, straightforward payment information, and accessible member support. They have truly simplified the complex to improve lives, which gets us particularly excited as we’ve seen this phenomenon lead to success throughout our portfolio—Salesforce did it for customer success, Workday did it for enterprise resource planning, and Tableau did it for data visualization—all examples where overwhelming amounts of complex and confusing data were made available, useful, and digestible through new technology applications. Collective also plays in well with the growing desire for organizations to provide services and experiences that retain happy, and healthy workforces—a theme that we believe will continue to gain traction (as evidenced by our recent investments in employee expense management company, Divvy, and family support platform, Cleo).

Every company in our portfolio has the potential to challenge the status quo and drive change. No matter whether it’s a seed, early, or growth stage investment, the talented minds and devoted teams behind these companies motivate and inspire me daily. And when we are able to connect and partner with a company early and have the opportunity to continue supporting the company as it matures, it is extra special. Collective Health has developed into a market leader in the self-insurance space, and they’ve done it by staying true to their founding missing to use technology as a vehicle to help individuals improve their healthcare experience.