From their headquarters in Bloomfield, Connecticut, Cigna today announced a $250 million venture fund to invest in healthcare startups across the United States.
Cigna now follows in the footsteps of Humana Inc., Kaiser Permanente, and a group of Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurers that all have a internal venture arm. The biggest health insurer, UnitedHealth Group Inc., created their own fund last November.
“For the last few years, health insurers have been creating venture funds to help them improve their businesses and find new disruptive technology in hopes of generating larger financial returns,” says digital healthcare expert and Ask The Doctor founder, Prakash Chand.
Cigna executive, Tom Richards has been selected to lead the $250 million fund. Cigna has already partnered with companies Omada Health Inc. and Contessa Health Inc., to focus on delivery of care. The team at Cigna says they are in the process of hiring a team to evaluate all future investments.
In a call with Ask The Doctor, Richards said there’s a lot of money going into healthcare ventures but that Cigna Ventures has “strong knowledge and expertise in the healthcare services space itself.”
Investments into healthcare startups are at an all time high this year. According to research from Ask The Doctor, approximately $10 billion has already been invested to date this year.
Cigna is considered to be one of the largest health insurers in the United States. The company purchased Express Scripts Holding Co., a benefits platform for the pharmaceutical industry earlier this year for $54 billion.
Cigna trades on the NYSE under the symbol CI and currently has a market cap of $46 billion.