Press Release | Gütersloh/London, 12/05/2023
Bertelsmann Investments (BI) recently invested in a funding round for the London-based AI start-up Phare Health. The company develops generative AI products that help hospitals to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of their administrative processes. The £2.5 million financing round was led by renowned U.S. venture capitalist General Catalyst. Phare Health was founded by DeepMind, Google Health and Stanford alumni.
Carsten Coesfeld, CEO of Bertelsmann Investments, said: “I am excited that we have invested in Phare Health alongside General Catalyst. Like Bertelsmann Investments, General Catalyst has a long-term vision and supports founders far beyond the start-up phase. The Phare team led by founders Dr. Martin Seneviratne, Lee Kupferman and Tymor Hamamsy have made it their mission to help increase administrative efficiency through a secure, practical use of artificial intelligence for non-clinical tasks.”
Thorsten Wirkes, Senior Vice President at Bertelsmann Investments, added: “Automation holds tremendous potential to alleviate the ongoing labor shortage in the healthcare space. Phare is the only automation coding company going after the inpatient market – and doing so with a global ambition. Overall, we at Bertelsmann Investments see great opportunities for the digital healthcare market and have already invested 90 million Euro in the market since last year.”
Martin Seneviratne, co-founder and Co-CEO of Phare Health, said: “As a young doctor working in hospitals in Sydney and London, the most frustrating thing was having to spend time on admin, at the expense of patient care. While there is much discussion of the potential use of AI for clinicians, there is a much more urgent need for AI in the back office – doing low-risk, manual, administrative tasks that will free clinicians up to spend more time caring for patients. AI in healthcare should be invisible – it should help behind the scenes to make healthcare more efficient and safe without getting in the way of doctors and nurses.”
Chris Bischoff, Managing Director of General Catalyst, said: “We believe Phare is pioneering an entirely new category of financial resilience products for health systems. By partnering with industry stakeholders from the outset, they have demonstrated the ability to collaborate with those who share their commitment to modernizing the financial stack of the health system, with sustainability, patient care, and workforce wellbeing in mind. These values align with our Health Assurance thesis and we are excited to participate in their positive impact.”
Phare Health will use the funds from the current financing round to fuel the development of its AI system in collaboration with leading European and American healthcare systems. Partnerships with German hospitals are also being sought in this context. The capital will also be used to expand the team and recruit AI and healthcare experts in key markets.
About Bertelsmann Investments
Bertelsmann Investments (BI) comprises Bertelsmann’s global venture capital activities as well as the Bertelsmann Next growth unit. The venture capital arm includes the Bertelsmann Asia Investments (BAI), Bertelsmann India Investments (BII) and Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI) funds, as well as selected fund and direct holdings in markets including Europe, the United States, Brazil, Southeast Asia and Africa. The Bertelsmann Next unit advances the entrepreneurial development of new growth sectors and business areas, including digital health, mobile gaming and HR Tech. To date, around €1.7 billion has been invested in more than 400 innovative companies and funds through Bertelsmann Investments. Bertelsmann Investments currently holds over 300 active investments worldwide through its network of start-ups and funds.
About Phare Health
Phare Health is an early stage venture bringing hospital administration and revenue cycle management into the GPT era. Founded by ex-DeepMind, Google Health, and Stanford alumni, Phare is beginning with an AI co-pilot focussed on improving the quality of medical coding and the productivity of medical coders. Successfully doing this will reduce hospital costs, increase reimbursement, and create a deep, accurate, structured health dataset from unstructured clinical notes. From here, Phare will expand into other administrative and RCM areas driving further cost efficiencies and unlocking the value of structured data.