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Business deals

SoftBank leads $205m investment in health care startup

Japanese conglomerate surges into the wellness market with Collective Health

SoftBank's Vision Fund backed Collective Health, which provides an online platform for health care benefits.    © Courtesy of Collective Health

NEW YORK -- SoftBank Group's Vision Fund is venturing further into the wellness industry with its second investment in as many weeks after leading a funding round for San Francisco-based Collective Health.

The Japanese conglomerate's tech fund led a $205 million investment in the startup to boost the company's health care platform for enterprises and to increase partnerships across the U.S., Collective Health said Monday. 

The health care solutions startup works with corporations to offer employees a single, connected platform for health care benefits, including provider directories, the ability to submit claims online and live online assistance. 

"With U.S. health care costs at $3.65 trillion in 2018, Collective Health is reinventing the health care experience for companies and their employees. Their innovative business model and technology platform are not only helping employers understand and optimize their health care spending, they are also providing employees with a better health care experience," said Deep Nishar, senior managing partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers. "The company has continued to scale its business across U.S. employers, and we are excited to help them drive further innovation and adoption in the approximately $1.2 trillion employer health insurance industry."

This comes as SoftBank aims to surge into the wellness industry. The global corporate wellness market is projected to grow 69% to $90.7 billion in 2026 compared to last year, according to a recent report published by Grand View Research, a market research and consulting company based in San Francisco. Enterprises across various industries have increased awareness of employee health and started implementing health programs for their staff, according to the report. 

The Japanese company's $100 billion Vision Fund last week invested in Brazilian fitness startup Gympass, which offers corporate employees monthly gym access across 14 countries.

The fund, backed by the sovereign wealth funds of Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, holds shares in some of the biggest names in the tech world, including ride-hailing giant Uber and office rental service WeWork. 

Collective Health was founded in 2013 with the goal to simplify employer health care with integrated technology. The startup has gained over 200,000 members and worked with 45 companies, including Pinterest and Red Bull. The company also analyzes health care trends and spending to help employers better understand and manage health coverage. 

DFJ Growth, PSP Investments, NEA, GV, G Squared, Founders Fund, Maverick Ventures, Mubadala Ventures and Sun Life are also investors of Collective Health. 

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