Google makes largest healthcare tech investment to date: US$130m

8 May 2014

Cancer cell image via Wikimedia Commons

Internet search giant Google is making serious headway in the healthcare technology market by investing US$130m in Flatiron Health, an aggregator of data on cancer for doctors.

The Series B financing deal has been orchestrated by Google’s capital investment group Google Ventures, along with contributions from First Round Capital and the Laboratory Corporation of America.

Founded by previous Google employees Nat Turner and Zach Weinberg, Flatiron Health was launched in 2012. The company has since built data pipelines, infrastructure and software to provide cancer centres, physicians, researchers and patients with the insight they need to make informed decisions.

The pair had previously worked on the media-buying advertising service for online, Invite Media. They began working on the oncology technology after personal tragedies involving cancer and their decision to try and improve its treatment.

Speaking of the deal, managing partner at Google Ventures Bill Maris said it was a pretty risky decision for them to make, considering the size of the investment.

“We don’t generally make investments of US$100-plus million. When we do make an investment of this size, it means we really believe in the team, and the product, and the good that it can do for the world.”

Currently, between 500 and 1,000 oncologists in the US are using the data platform and with this latest investment, Flatiron Health is expected to make an acquisition bid for Altos Solutions, a company that provides a cloud-based system for storing medical records, particularly those relating to the treatment of cancer.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic