Verana Health, a company that analyzes electronic health record data for insights useful in developing new drugs and medical devices, has raised $30 million in financing.
GV, the venture arm of Google’s parent company, Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL), led the Series C round of investment in the San Francisco company.
Verana was formerly known as DigiSight. Founded in 2008, the company developed software that helps physicians monitor patients between appointments. DigiSight initially targeted ophthalmology practices, and eye care remains a focus under the company’s new name. Verana says it began developing its data analytics technology in 2017, when the American Academy of Ophthalmology selected it as its exclusive partner for commercial uses of its IRIS Registry, a database of eye diseases. Physicians can use the registry to identify ways to improve patient care, and it also has applications supporting the research of pharmaceutical and medical device companies. Verana says it plans to develop relationships with other medical groups that it says can use its data analytics technology.
In addition to the new name and new cash, Verana now also has a new CEO: Miki Kapoor. Kapoor (pictured above) was most recently the chief executive of Tea Leaves Health, a Georgia company with analytics software that provides hospitals and health systems insight about patients. Tea Leaves was acquired last year by WellTok, a Denver company that provides health and wellness program software to insurance companies, health systems, and others. WellTok raised a $75 million round of funding in April. Doug Foster, who was CEO of Verana when it was known as DigiSight, will remain at the company as chief strategy officer.
A number of other companies are trying to to analyze health data to support drug development, and they’re raising money to do it. Last week, GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) announced a $300 million investment in Mountain View, CA-based 23andMe. Under a four-year partnership, GSK aims to develop new drugs based on 23andMe’s genetic insights. GV has also placed other bets in the sector. In May, GV added approximately $7 million to the Series A round of Owkin, a company whose machine learning tools help medical researchers discover the biological signs of diseases and disease targets for potential drugs.
Verana last raised money in 2015, when it closed a $7.8 million Series B round of financing. It says it will use the new capital to continue building its technology and expand its staff. Verana’s latest financing also included participation from earlier investors Biomatics Capital; Brook Byers, a senior partner at Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers; GE Ventures; and Lagunita Biosciences.
Photo by Verana Health