One particular area of investment for GV, formerly Google Ventures, is “Life Sciences & Health,” with the venture firm’s bet into the field paying off following a large acquisition. Founded by ex-Googlers, Flatiron Health was acquired yesterday (via CNBC) for $1.9 billion by Swiss medical giant Roche.
Nat Turner and Zach Weinberg have a background in ad tech with Google acquiring their first company in 2010. Two years later, the pair founded Flatiron Health to “combine some of the best minds in medicine and technology to transform the way cancer is understood and treated.”
Its main product is an electronic medical record system that offers patient data to researchers to improve treatment options. For instance, the system could help suggest that certain patients are recruited for clinical trials and receive other helpful treatment options.
Essentially, it applies big data to organizing vast amounts of information as GV general partner Krishna Yeshwant notes:
“Flatiron is doing for cancer data what Google did for information on the Internet—organizing it and making it useful so physicians and researchers can improve the way we treat disease.”
GV was a big investor in the startup, as were new owners Roche who previously had a 12.6% stake in the company following a 2016 investment round. The Swiss medical giant is a leader in oncology and will operate Flatiron as a separate legal entity with operations to continue as usual. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2018.