Following Amino Health’s May 11th financing announcement, I sat down with Amino Health Co-founder and CEO David Vivero and Transformation Capital Managing Partner Mike Dixon to learn more about what drew Mike to digital healthcare investing, and where they think Amino Health - and the industry overall - is going.
David, congrats! What an exciting time! When you look back to 2013, when you co-founded Amino Health, what was your mission? Has it changed?
Amino Health was born of my having to make a series of incredibly important, urgent decisions about my health, but - like the majority of Americans - I didn’t have access to the information or guidance I needed to make those choices confidently. That was in 2013, and since then, our mission has stayed the same—to provide the most trusted and convenient way for people to choose the best care at the best cost. Whether we’re doing that through self-insured employers, or through enterprise healthcare partners like TPAs and benefit administrators, empowering people to make better care decisions remains our focus.
What has changed in the last decade is the increasing complexity and rising cost of the U.S. healthcare system. To continue to fulfill our mission and support consumer decision-making at scale, we must meet the system where it is today. That means building a platform that integrates a plan member's unique healthcare experience -and all of the innovative solutions it includes - into one intuitive interface. For example, we know health plan designs are becoming more complex with the introduction of tiered networks, carve outs, and reference based pricing, so we’re investing in ways that Amino can be configured to support these innovations while keeping the complexity behind the scenes. We want members to experience the benefits of innovation without struggling with understanding how to use it. The need for solutions that break through the maze and direct people to high-quality, personalized care is essential. This is where I am seeing Amino’s greatest impact.
Mike, can you tell us a little about your history within the healthcare industry and how you joined the team at Transformation Capital?
I started investing in healthcare services and IT companies in 2009 at Sequoia Capital. The general thesis back then was that healthcare is a large market where technology adoption historically has lagged, but that fundamental changes would modernize it: the digitization of the market (spurred by the HITECH Act) and the long term change in the incentive structure from fee-for-service to value-based care (spurred by the Affordable Care Act (ACA)).
Healthcare, over time, became my passion. While it’s a huge market where consequential companies can be built - and therefore is fertile ground from an investment perspective - the main thing that has kept me engaged is how meaningful the work is. By and large, almost all healthcare company founders you meet are truly mission driven; and, there is so much work to do to improve the system and make it work better for everyone. I joined Transformation Capital because I knew and respected the team as individuals and as investors, and I felt that for Transformation Capital to differentiate itself, our firm should be focused deeply in healthcare. That focus has led to our differentiation, which we use to the benefit of the companies we partner with.
What excites you about Amino Health?
There is so much to be excited about at Amino Health! First and foremost, we are excited about the team and the culture of grit that has been built over time. While many businesses have fallen into bad habits, given almost unlimited access to capital over the last five years, Amino Health has taken the road less traveled by being judicious about its cash efficiency and focused and inventive in its product and go-to-marketing strategies. On the product side, we have heard nothing but great things from customers about usability, a strength stemming from the company’s roots in the direct to consumer business. And, channel partners have raved about the relationships they have built with Amino Health, and how the Amino platform has made them more successful.
David, what activities does this funding accelerate for the company?
In the last 12 months, Amino has engaged in a series of deep partnerships with enterprise healthcare companies, grown to support more than 1.6 million contracted members, enhanced our product to surpass Transparency in Coverage Rule requirements, and continued to improve the patient experience through our solutions.
I am proud of our growth —and really excited to see the value we provide being validated and accelerated by new funding. This financing allows us to innovate rapidly, continue to expand our product roadmap, and facilitate deep integrations with enterprise partners to support more patients at scale. Personally, I see this news as less about the amount we’ve raised and more about the proof that we have grown the company and built a valuable offering to the point where financial investment will help us fulfill our mission at scale. This is our moment and our opportunity to meet - and exceed - the pace of market innovation.
Mike, what energizes you the most about the decade in American healthcare?
The ingredients for real change in healthcare have been in place for several years – a digital infrastructure of clinical data (through the HITECH Act), incentive changes that reward high-value care (starting with the ACA), and consumer demand for more and better digital healthcare options (arguably beginning with telehealth during COVID). There has been an explosion in the number of innovative healthcare startups as a result; and the quality of these companies is much higher than 10 years ago. We are seeing founders who are very experienced, either inside healthcare or with parallel expertise entering the market with passion and the drive to create meaningful, lasting change. It’s really easy to get excited for how these companies will positively impact American healthcare.
How does Amino Health fit into your portfolio at Transformation Capital?
We have about 35 portfolio partners today with whom Amino Health shares many characteristics: a technology business scaling very quickly with a group of incredibly capable and mission-driven team members. There will be ample opportunity to share best practices and battle scars with like-minded folks in our network on topics ranging from scaling talent, go-to-market, selling to healthcare payers, and more. That said, each business is totally unique. In this, Amino Health is no exception, especially with the innovative go-to-market strategy they have developed after pivoting to an enterprise model a few years ago. One of the most fun aspects of this job is having a small role in the unique journeys that companies go on as they grow and scale. We are really excited to support the Amino Health team on theirs.
David, final words? Where would you like to see Amino Health go in the next decade?
A decade from now, I would like to see more Americans receiving the cost-effective, high-quality care they deserve because Amino has given them the information they need to find it. In the more immediate future, we are accelerating product innovation to our current partners and customers, launching valuable new product offerings, and continuing to invest in new ways to engage plan members in the best care available to them.
If this sounds exciting to you - join us! We’ve already opened roles across our product, engineering, sales, customer success, and marketing teams (check those out on our careers page). We’re hiring immediately for positions listed and expect additional roles to open over the next several months.