With more than 15 publicly-traded healthcare companies generating more than $84 billion in revenue headquartered in Nashville, healthcare innovation catalyst Briovation saw the right opportunity to get ahead of the rise in blockchain applications in the industry. Briovation is the parent company of healthcare-focused VC firms Jumpstart Capital and Jumpstart Foundry, with a portfolio of over 50 health and health tech startups between the two.
Their new umbrella initiative, Tokenizing Health, includes several initiatives to analyze, invest in and provide open-source blockchain technology to healthcare companies nationwide to nurture innovation and create unity within the space.
“We’re trying to organize the space and understand who’s doing what,” says Vic Gatto, CEO of Briovation. “There are so many different blockchain projects and yet the data has to be incorporated together so we can deliver value to the patient, or the doctor, or the insurance company. We believe there’s going to be a need to share data across chains and integrate things.”
So far, Briovation has identified over 150 health-related blockchains, ranging from genomics to care coordination to insurance.
The first strategy behind Tokenizing Health, in line with co-founders Gatto and Marcus Whitney‘s expertise, is to launch a new fund. Jumpstart Token will invest in early-stage healthcare blockchain companies that plan to launch an ICO or token sale.
Gaito explains that the goal is to invest, if possible, before the public launch of these token sales.
“Our intent is to invest very early as the product is forming, and then buy tokens in order to help a team come together and deliver at the ICO,” says Gatto.
“Cryptocurrencies and the rise of initial coin offerings have created new methods of raising capital and, in Jumpstart’s view, represent exciting and disruptive changes in the venture capital industry. The Jumpstart Token fund intends to invest in tokens to take advantage of these shifts to generate returns and help create the next generation of healthcare innovation,” says Gatto.
The initial fund will be approximately $50 million with an aim to invest $5-8 million per project, in up to 14 investments. “It’s important to control the size and not get too big, so we can be very selective and work with a limited number of companies,” says Gatto.
The team’s second initiative is a new company, called Solaster, that provides a framework for blockchain developers to access open, permissionless APIs in one platform.
“We asked ourselves, if we could completely rebuild a healthcare system, what would that look like based on new technologies, specifically blockchain?” says Solaster CEO and co-founder Stuart Lackey.
“Our place is to allow blockchains to be interoperable and that’s really exciting. But no one was really talking about that — everybody’s talking about this specific app or this specific token, but we really wanted to change the narrative and just call it out. We believe in a distributed, decentralized health economy.”
Solaster’s suite of tools and APIs will help blockchain developers within the healthcare space to build applications with a strong, interoperable base to architect their framework on. This way, the developer can spend time creating customizable features for their particular product, but the application will work on Solaster’s eventual network of blockchains — preventing the siloed data systems the healthcare system sees today.
Tracking and visualizing all the activity occurring in the space is the final piece in the Tokenizing Health puzzle. The firm’s just-released Brioview chart displays the growing population of public blockchain companies in one chart and helps to document the space as throughly as possible.
“If we’re not careful, we might create a recreation of what we have in healthcare today — siloed data systems with specific interests and closed permission blockchains,” says Lackey.
Gatto agrees — Tokenizing Health’s multi-fold approach aims to make the process more seamless from the creation of the blockchain to serving patients and providers more efficiently and finally, injecting funds to spur faster product development.
“Through Tokenizing Health, I’m able to invest in projects through Jumpstart’s token fund, and then get the developers, instead of building all of these infrastructure things, to plug it into Solaster, and done,” says Gatto. “They all need basic interfaces. We create the glue, or the infrastructure, that could allow all these big projects to be successful. You can leverage your developer’s time at the most effective point.”