Cigna launches $250M venture fund to invest in tech startups

Health services organization Cigna on Wednesday launched a corporate venture fund with an infusion of $250 million in capital to be invested in healthcare technology startups and early-stage companies.

Cigna Ventures will focus on “transformative and innovative” companies to that are “unlocking new growth possibilities in healthcare and will bring improved care quality, affordability, choice and greater simplicity to customers and clients,” according to Cigna’s announcement.

In particular, Cigna Ventures is looking to invest in three strategic areas—insights and analytics, digital health and retail, and care delivery and management—with an eye towards piloting and testing early-stage innovation ideas.

“Cigna’s commitment to improving the health, well-being and sense of security of the people we serve is at the front and center of everything we do,” says Tom Richards, senior vice president and global lead, strategy and business development at Cigna. “The venture fund will enable us to drive innovation beyond our existing core business operations, and incubate new ideas, opportunities and relationships that have the potential for long-term business growth and to help our customers.”

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Last year, digital behavioral medicine vendor Omada Health announced a $50 million fund-raising round led by Cigna, as well as an expanded commercial collaboration between the two companies in which Omada’s counseling program is being made available to Cigna’s customers with prediabetes and elevated risks of chronic conditions.

“Our partnership with Cigna has been about so much more than capital,” says Sean Duffy, Omada’s co-founder and CEO. “The ability to collaborate with, learn from and integrate deeply with a health services company so dedicated to delivering a 21st century care experience to its customers and clients has enabled us to accelerate innovation, advance our capabilities, and grow our customer base.”

Cigna has also invested in telehealth vendor MDLIVE and Prognos, an innovator in applying artificial intelligence to clinical lab diagnostics. In addition, the company has made investments in Contessa Health, which uses a proprietary health informatics platform to facilitate home recovery care, as well as Cricket Health, which provides integrated nephrology and dialysis care to chronic kidney disease and end stage renal disease patients.

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