Medical Alley

Bright Health Announces $200 Million Series C Funding Round as Unique Care Partner Health Plan Model Ushers in the Next Generation of Healthcare

December 3, 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

MINNEAPOLISNov. 29, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Bright Health, an insurance company that provides exclusive Care Partner Health Plans for everyday individuals at competitive prices, today announced it has raised $200 million in an oversubscribed Series C funding round. The financing includes two new investors, Declaration Partners and Meritech Capital, as well as existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Cross Creek Advisors, Flare Capital, Greenspring Associates, Greycroft Partners, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Redpoint Ventures, and Town Hall Ventures.

Since early 2016, Bright Health has raised more than $440 million in three rounds of equity financing in pursuit of its vision of ushering in the next generation of healthcare through its proven Care Partner Health Plan model, delivering efficiency, predictability and cost savings to members. The Series C funding will grow the company’s balance sheet and support ongoing expansion into new markets at a pace expected to exceed Bright Health’s growth in 2019.

“Bright Health has continued to execute at a fast pace towards our goal of disrupting the old health care model that places insurers at odds with providers,” said Bob Sheehy, Chief Executive Officer of Bright Health. “With our recently announced expansion, we will triple our geographic footprint in 2019. And Bright Health’s current high re-enrollment rate shows that consumers are ready for this improved healthcare experience – especially when it is priced competitively. We are honored to welcome these long-term investors to the Bright Health community as we look forward to what’s ahead for the company. We are just getting started.”

“As a growth investment fund, Meritech is looking for opportunities to invest in fast growing sector leaders whose potential to use technology will enhance the customer experience of large populations,” said Craig Sherman, Managing Director at Meritech Capital Partners. “Not only has Bright Health proved this is possible with its above average re-enrollment rates, but the data infrastructure that they are building has the potential to produce better health outcomes for millions of hardworking Americans and disrupt health insurance – and healthcare – as we have come to know and accept it.”

Another new investor contributing fresh capital is Declaration Partners. Andrew Goldfarb of Declaration said, “Bright Health’s differentiated model solves long-standing issues in healthcare and, most importantly, delivers high quality, integrated and affordable care to its growing membership. We are excited to support Bright Health through this next phase of the company’s growth.”

Mohamad Makhzoumi, General Partner and head of healthcare services and healthcare IT investing at NEA said, “I remain awestruck by the achievements that Bright Health has made since the Company’s Series A financing in 2016. Bright Health is the entrant with the best chance of upsetting the staid status quo of the managed care industry. This financing positions the Company well to capitalize on its transformational medical cost management results. We are thrilled to continue partnering with Bob and the entire Bright Health team.”

Launched in 2016, Bright Health’s innovative Care Partner Health Plan Model works exclusively with one health system per market to offer superior, integrated care that removes the friction that has traditionally existed between payers and providers. This relationship allows for coordination of services and administration to optimize consumer and patient experience.

Offering both Individual and Family Plans (IFP) and Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, Bright Health can support consumers from childhood through retirement, allowing them to build lifelong relationships with their providers who in turn are invested in their long-term health outcomes.

About Bright Health
Bright Health provides quality health insurance for everyday individuals at competitive prices. Through its exclusive Care Partner Health Plans in local communities, Bright Health is reshaping how people and providers achieve better health together by making healthcare simpler, more affordable and personal. Bright Health currently offers a range of individual, family and Medicare Advantage plans in Alabama, ArizonaColoradoNew York CityOhio and Tennessee via its website, call center, broker partners and through government websites as well as public health insurance exchanges. Bright Health co-founders include Bob Sheehy, former CEO of UnitedHealthcare; Kyle Rolfing, co-founder and former CEO of Definity Health and RedBrick Health; and Tom Valdivia, MD, MS, former chief health consumer officer of Definity Health. Learn more at

SOURCE Bright Health

Medical Alley Companies Raise $234 Million in First Half of 2018

August 1, 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Medical Alley companies had a strong start to 2018, buoyed by new investments in biotech. 45 companies raised $234 million in the first half of the year. In addition to positive investment flow, exits continued at a strong pace with multiple acquisitions and one initial public offering (IPO). These exits will recycle capital into the ecosystem and show Medical Alley’s strength at all stages of company maturity.

Notable raises so far this year include Bind’s $70 million (digital health), Relievant’s $58 million (medical device), Vyriad’s $9 million (biotech), Cardionomic’s $9 million (medical device), and Vergent Bioscience’s $8.7 million (biotech). Exits include Ability Network’s sale to Inovalon, Cogentix’s sale to Laborie, Rebiotix’s sale to Ferring Pharmaceuticals, NxThera’s sale to Boston Scientific, and RedBrick’s Merger with Virgin Pulse. Inspire Medical Systems also raised net proceeds of $112.2 million through their IPO on the New York Stock Exchange.

Biopharma Best Start Ever

Medical Alley’s biopharma community had its best first half ever with $51.8 million raised by 10 companies, over double the prior record from 2015. Top raisers were Biothera ($13.5 million), Vyriad ($9 million) and Vergent Biosciences ($8.7 million).

Biopharma accounted for one of the exits as well: Rebiotix’s sale to Ferring Pharmaceuticals. In a show of support for the Medical Alley community, Ferring has commented that it will keep Rebiotix’s team and operations in place in Medical Alley while investing in further development.

Biopharma is a growth sector for Medical Alley with steady increases in both funding and head count. 4,000 people across more than 200 organizations — more than double the number of companies a decade ago — now work in the biopharma space in Medical Alley. One of the companies expanding both its headcount and its footprint is Vyriad. Fresh off their $9 million raise, the company is investing in a 25,000 square foot Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) space to manufacture its oncolytic virus anti-cancer vaccines in Rochester, Minnesota.

Loss of Angel Investment Tax Credit Threatens Job Growth

While Medical Alley is seeing growth in sectors like biopharma and digital health, Q2 did produce one worrying trend as well: The fewest companies since the passage of the Angel Investment Tax Credit (AITC) raised money in the first 6 months of 2018 following the credits expiration. 34 companies raised $4 million or less, the AITC cap, a 20 percent drop from the prior year, and a new low since the credit was first instituted.

By reducing the risk of an investment, the AITC provides an incentive for investors to back early stage technology firms. In the last five years, Medical Alley companies raised $108 million via the AITC earning $27 million in credits; those companies went on to raise another $273 million, a 10x return on the state’s $27 million investment.

The AITC is a catalyst for early stage companies. Due to long development cycles in health technology, the companies who benefitted from the credit while it was in place are only now at the stage where they can create jobs en masse. Equally, while the short-term impacts of the credit’s absence are already visible in the declining number of early stage companies raising money, this will not be the only negative consequence. A dip in job creation as this smaller class of startup companies reaches maturity would not be surprising.

Further delay in reauthorization imperials Minnesota’s signature industry: health innovation and care. Reauthorization of the credit is a top priority of the Medical Alley Association.

Medical Alley Companies Create Billions in Value First Half of 2018

The first six months of 2018 saw strong return of capital to investors across all sectors, and the pipeline of promising early and mid-stage companies suggests deal activity will continue. Companies around the world want access to the talent and technology here in the global epicenter of health innovation and care, Medical Alley.

Here are some highlights of the major acquisitions, exits, and the largest raises of the first half of 2018:

ABILITY Network is a Software as a Service (SaaS) company that simplifies administrative and clinical tasks in healthcare. Combined with Inovalon, which acquired the firm for $1.2 billion, they are delivering efficiencies across healthcare, freeing up capital to improve quality and lower costs. An early Medical Alley pioneer in digital health, the company grew to more than $100 million in revenue and had hundreds of employees in downtown Minneapolis before their sale. After the acquisition, Inovalon announced ABILITY Network would expand its Minnesota workforce.

Bind, a company developing on-demand health insurance, raised $70 million to launch in market. Founded by serial entrepreneur Tony Miller and backed by Medical Alley based Lemhi Ventures, Bind provides core coverage for primary and emergency care with add-ins for things you can plan for, like certain orthopedic procedures. Bind’s fundraise represents the third year in a row that the largest startup raise of the first half went to a digital health company.

Cogentix, a urology device and solutions provider, was acquired by Canadian firm LABORIE Medical Technologies for $239 million. Cogentix has three primary products: Urgent PC Neuromodulation System for the treatment of over active bladder; PrimeSight Cystoscopy System & EndoSheath, a cystoscopy system with a single-use protective barrier with an integrated working channel; and Macroplastique, an injectable, soft-tissue bulking agent used to treat female stress urinary incontinence.

Inspire Medical Systems debuted on the New York Stock Exchange on May 3rd. Net of all expenses Inspire raised $112.2 million. A developer of treatments for obstructive sleep apnea, Inspire’s lead product was named the #2 innovation most likely to impact healthcare in 2018 by the Cleveland Clinic. Inspire was the first Medical Alley company to go public in 2018 and follows members Celcuity and Calyxt, which went public in 2017. The stock trades under the symbol INSP.

NxThera, a urology startup commercializing a novel treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia (also called an enlarged prostate) was acquired by Boston Scientific, which was an early investor in the company, for $406 million. NxThera’s device offers a treatment option to patients that is minimally invasive, improves quality of life, and preserves sexual function post-procedure, making it a superior option for consumers. Following the acquisition, NxThera and Boston Scientific announced their intent to spinout a new company based on the core NxThera technology to develop a novel treatment for prostate cancer, continuing the cycle of innovation for the benefit of patients.

Rebiotix Inc., a late-stage clinical microbiome company focused on harnessing the power of the human microbiome to revolutionize the treatment of challenging diseases was acquired by Ferring Pharmaceuticals, but terms were not disclosed. According to published reports, Ferring intends to keep Rebiotix’s operations intact, including CEO and Medical Alley Association board member, Lee Jones.

RedBrick Health agreed to merge with Virgin Pulse in the first half of 2018. Terms of the merger were not disclosed. The combined company will have 3,300 employees with offices in Medical Alley and Rhode Island. RedBrick helps companies transform the health of their organizations by inspiring their people to engage in life and at work. Virgin Pulse, a leading provider of technology solutions that promote employee engagement and wellbeing, is part of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.

Relievant Medsystems raised $58 million in the first half of 2018, the largest raise by a medical device company and second largest raise overall. Simultaneously with the raise, Relievant announced moving its headquarters to Medical Alley from California. Relievant has developed the Intracept procedure for the treatment of certain types of chronic low back pain.


May 23, 2018: In The Know

May 23, 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Startup Developing Device to Reduce Threat of Stroke in Heart Procedures

Michael Langley to retire as CEO of Greater MSP

Minnesota Companies Climb on New Fortune 500 List

Lead By Medical Sales, Minnesota Exports at $5.3 Billion in First Quarter

U of M brain implant calms tremors

Mayo Clinic Kicks Off Massive ‘Biobank’ Project to Invigorate Individualized Medicine Research

Newest Generation of Leading Heart Stent is now Approved in the US For People with Coronary Artery Disease

8 companies commercializing transcatheter mitral valve replacements

World’s Leading Digital Adherence Researchers Choose MyMeds

Study: Patient Acquisition Provides Sustainable Financial Model for Health Systems Deploying Virtual Care

OneOme Expands its Comprehensive Pharmacogenomic Test Offering with New Genes and Medications

Nortech Systems Announces Two New Board Members: Jay D. Miller & Dr. Steven Rosenstone

Future looks bright for startup insurer Bright Health

Diversified Plastics expands sales engineer and technical support team

Four Key Trends Driving Increased Investment in Medical Alley

April 26, 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Investment in Medical Alley has doubled over the last five years, reaching more than $700 million in 2017. The state’s share of total venture capital investment increased from 28th in 2016 to 15th in 2017.

What is driving this increase? Here are four trends that help explain the increase:

1) Healthcare is a Multifaceted Problem, Minnesota Companies Offer Multifaceted Solutions

Known for leadership in medical devices, Medical Alley is also leading in other aspects of healthcare innovation.

Innovative startups like Bright Health and Zipnosis are pioneering new models of care, and established firms like UnitedHealth Group and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota are backing dozens of firms working to disrupt the status quo in healthcare.

Personalized medicine is a reality through companies like OneOme, Recombinetics, and Stemonix. Research from Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota is making cures once thought impossible a reality.

Medical Alley’s diversity has positioned the ecosystem to address the breadth of complex issues with novel solutions. In the first quarter of 2018 30 percent of the companies raising money were digital health, 23 percent were biopharma, and 47 percent were medical device.

2) Innovations Made in Minnesota are Staying Local For Their Growth Phase

Rochester, Minnesota, the home of the #1 hospital in the US, Mayo Clinic, is an emerging hotbed of healthcare startups. Drawing on world-leading clinicians, companies are rapidly finding their product-market fit.

A recent report from Chartio’s Tim Miller found that growth in Plymouth, Minnetonka, and Rochester is driving Minnesota’s improvement in venture capital market share.

In the past, much of the innovation developed by the Mayo Clinic ended up outside of Rochester, but recent efforts have turned this around, with more innovations incubating right in the clinic’s backyard. The work of Mayo Clinic Ventures, Collider, and the BioBusiness Center has made this transformation possible.

3) Exits Recycling Capital into New Deals

Industry leaders have observed that the dearth of exits has held back growth nationwide. But from 2012 to 2016 Minnesota led Midwestern exit productivity with 44 exits. 2017 saw exits for Upsher-Smith, Entellus Medical and three others that generated almost . 2018 has seen a pair of exits already, ABILITY Networks and NxThera, which returned $1.6 billion to investors. A third, Inspire Medical Systems’ IPO, is in the works.

Healthy returns are proof of the vitality of the Medical Alley community; refilling the coffers of investors will set the stage for continued success.

4) Capital Efficiency: Money Goes Further Here

A dollar is a dollar anywhere in the US, but in Medical Alley, it gets you more. Ping Yeh, CEO of biotech startup, Stemonix, said it in the March issue of Site Selection “A million dollars here is going to last at least six times [longer than] it would in parts of California.” Capital efficiency means you need less to start, less to continue, and less to generate ROI. Lower cost of rent, consulting, and other inputs reduces the amount of capital needed.

Affordability is not the only driver of efficiency in Medical Alley, in fact the biggest drivers may be domain expertise and strong networks. Expertise in clinical trials and regulatory affairs results in PMAs approved 6 months faster than anywhere else. Strong business networks mean finding an advisor or consultant is a snap. These efficiencies stack, accelerating time-to-market and lowering capital expenditure.

Startups are Hard, Medical Alley’s Entrepreneurs are Making Them Easier.

No one would deny that starting a company, raising capital, and building to an exit is hard. It may even be harder today than in the past. But the data coming out about Medical Alley is clear: entrepreneurs here are finding solutions to the biggest healthcare problems and to the challenges of starting and growing a company.

Want to know more about Medical Alley’s leadership in healthcare innovation? Visit

MAA Thanks Congressman Paulsen For His Proposed Suspension of Medical Device Tax

December 12, 2017 | Tags: , , ,

Golden Valley, MN (December 12, 2017) – Medical Alley Association President & CEO Shaye Mandle issued the following statement regarding Congressman Erik Paulsen’s proposal to extend the suspension of the medical device excise tax:

“Medical Alley Association thanks Congressman Paulsen for his leadership and proposal to suspend the medical device tax for another five years. With bipartisan support and over 260cosponsors, this proposal signals to health consumers and innovators that Congress is committed to helping people get the care and technology they need. While we know that Congressman Paulsen and others will continue to seek full repeal, this extension would allow current investments and plans to move forward, giving health consumers additional confidence in treatment options and improved outcomes.

We are grateful for Congressman Paulsen’s leadership on this issue and Medical Alley is committed to working with him to get this suspension through Congress and into effect by thebend of the year.”

About the Medical Alley Association

Since 1984, the Medical Alley Association has been the front door to Medical Alley. We are the collective voice and expertise of Medical Alley; the strategy, implementation and execution vehicle of the Medical Alley Community. We deliver the collective influence, intelligence and interactions that support Medical Alley’s global leadership.


Julia Schliesing



Recording Breaking Quarter for Medical Alley Companies!

October 23, 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Golden Valley, MN (October 23, 2017) – Establishing itself as the place to be for health innovation and care, Medical Alley has continued to raise the bar for investment. Surpassing $520 million, the Medical Alley community has already set a record for funds raised in a year, topping the previous record of $454.8 million set in 2015. With an entire quarter of opportunity remaining, Minnesota’s health technology companies are planting their flags as national leaders. Listed below and attached to this email are infographics and more information. Please contact me if you have any questions or would like a quote.

What would a Record Year be Without a Record Quarter?

With total funds raised in the third quarter ending just shy of $200 million, Medical Alley had its best Q3 on record and second-best quarter ever, bested only by Q2 of 2017. Amphora’s $32.5 million Series B raise led the 25 different privately held Medical Alley companies in Q3 2017. With an average raise of $7 million and a median raise of $1.6 million (the second highest Q3 median raise in the past five years), the community is growing broadly, not simply depending on a massive round to make headlines.

Medical Alley’s Sectors Experience Records of Their Own

Just as no one company carried this record-breaking quarter, no one industry in the Medical Alley community defined the tremendous success. The digital health ($16.2 million), bio-pharma ($38.2 million), and medical device sectors ($133.6 million) all had their best Q3 ever. Additionally, Minnesota’s bio-pharma sector had its best overall quarter in the past five years.

Another Quarter Defined by an Entire Ecosystem of Contributions & Successes 

Traditional fundraising is essential for privately held companies, providing resources that allow for accelerated growth and development. However, moving from private to public options can also be used to raise the company’s profile or to open new markets. Two Medical Alley companies – Enteromedics ($18.1M) and Osprey Medical ($32.5M) – secured post-IPO raises during Q3 of 2017. These post-IPO raises generated $50.6 million for the region. This diversity in capital raising further validates the robust environment that makes Minnesota a hotbed for health technology market success.

Thanks to a quarter that featured robust raises both pre- and post-IPO, the Medical Alley community has achieved a record year of capital raising with a quarter remaining. Medical Alley health innovation and technology companies are continuing to raise the profile of the region, proving it is the place to be for those innovators looking to find a thriving community.

About the Medical Alley Association:

Since 1984, the Medical Alley Association has been the front door to Medical Alley. WE ARE the collective voice and expertise of Medical Alley; the strategy, implementation and execution vehicle of the Medical Alley Community. WE DELIVER the collective influence, intelligence and interactions that support Medical Alley’s global leadership. Visit us at for more information.

LifeScience Alley Rebrands as Medical Alley

January 7, 2016 | Tags: , ,


LifeScience Alley to Rebrand as the Medical Alley Association – Reflecting Commitment to Health Technology

Move to Medical Alley Association Brand Reconnects with Leadership Role in Industry and Region


MINNEAPOLIS – January 5, 2016 – Industry-leading state-based trade organization to be rebranded as the Medical Alley Association, reconnecting with its historic link to the Minnesota health technology industry which includes: medical device, biopharmaceutical, diagnostics and digital health sectors. For over three decades, the organization has represented Minnesota’s innovative healthcare companies helping to build global recognition of the region known as Medical Alley.

The transformed Medical Alley Association provides members with advocacy at the local and national levels, original research and critical insights, connections to professional peers, relevant training resources and events. As part of the brand introduction, a new website and brand identity will be launched the first week of January highlighting the vision for the Medical Alley Association serving as a primary content provider; a hub of the world’s most concentrated health technology cluster. The relaunch provides a platform to refocus its efforts to better serve the community that is essential to Minnesota’s thriving healthcare environment.

“The Medical Alley Association is committed to elevating the region as a global epicenter of health innovation,” said Shaye Mandle, CEO and President of the Medical Alley Association. “Our role and goal is to influence relevant policy, foster connections, and deliver the insights needed to improve access to new therapies for patients in need around the world. Our members are truly changing every aspect of healthcare in all corners of the world and we’re proud of the role that Minnesota and Medical Alley play in that amazing effort.”

“The Medical Alley Association rebrand carries forward our historical spirit of rich innovation and unparalleled support for our constituents.  It also allows us to focus our efforts in strengthening our leadership role in advocacy, research, and enhancing connectivity among industry stakeholders,” said Dr. Rob Kieval, Board Chair of the Medical Alley Association.

The Medical Alley Association collaborated with two long-time, local agencies to bring the rebrand to life: StoneArch and Risdall Public Relations. StoneArch developed the brand identity and Risdall Public Relations designed the media launch strategy.  Both creative organizations have served Medical Alley’s largest organizations for more than 30 years and were uniquely positioned as they are also lifetime Medical Alley Association members; lending both expertise and experience to the initiative.

About the Medical Alley Association
The Medical Alley Association is a global leader in industry advocacy, stakeholder connectivity and content delivery which help power the evolution of healthcare in supporting members so they may innovate, succeed and influence the global community. By driving policy, delivering actionable intelligence and connecting members with critical resources, we work to ensure that Minnesota’s Medical Alley remains the world’s strongest health technology community. The Association’s membership and supporting community extends throughout the world, employing more than 300,000 Minnesotans and many more globally.

For more information, visit

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