Amazon—one of the largest American e-commerce companies—has disrupted several industries in the past. Most recently, it attempted to get into one of the country’s most complex and biggest industries around: healthcare. In a bold move, the tech conglomerate’s push into the world of health insurance and pharmaceutics cost a combined whopping $30 billion in just 2 hours of trading. Without a doubt, the idea of an Amazon Healthcare proves bold as the company joins the hunt for affordable healthcare.
Based in Seattle, Washington, Amazon has created a reputation of shaking up industries—including books, cloud computing, food, fashion, furniture and countless others—even before. It teamed up with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase, creating an alliance that will attempt to succeed at what many others have failed to do—provide reliable, affordable or free healthcare for the American people. However, it still proves to be quite challenging. After their official announcement on January 30, the trio’s vague yet market-moving bold idea of launching an independent and more affordable healthcare company immediately backfired within the industry.
The Idea of Amazon Healthcare: Facing Challenges Since Day 1
Critics are already nitpicking the move. However, many others think Amazon’s strengths may help their nonprofit approach to healthcare. Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and Forbes Magazine’s wealthiest person as of November 2017, acknowledged that his company’s most recent collaboration might face many challenges. In a statement, Bezos said, “The healthcare system is complex, and we enter into this challenge open-eyed about the degree of difficulty. Hard as it might be, reducing healthcare’s burden on the economy while improving outcomes for employees and their families would be worth the effort. Success is going to require talented experts, a beginner’s mind, and a long-term orientation.”
Warren Buffett, chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Berkshire Hathaway also noted, “The ballooning cost of healthcare acts as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy.”
With a projection by a Willis Towers Watson that U.S. employers expect healthcare costs to rise 5.5 percent this year—an upsurge from last year’s 4.6 percent increase—the average national cost per employee is now around $12,850. Clearly, the trio led by Bezos, Buffett, and JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon wants healthcare to not be a burden to both employers and employees.
With a union composed of three top global companies, why is Amazon getting all the beef? While all three can supply both employees and resources, some see Amazon as the one in the group with particularly relevant technological competence and bravery, as well as a history of disrupting industries.
Starting from Scratch
In essence, Amazon and its partners are starting with a clean slate. New York Times best-selling author Chunka Mui noted that compared to those already inside the current healthcare industry, Amazon does not have legacy systems to update or business models to protect. Also, most especially, it does not have any existing healthcare customers to please. Its experimental Amazon healthcare approach can leverage their existing connections and technologies, without the need to make money—a freedom and flexibility only their alliance with Berkshire and JPMorgan can offer.
Harvard Business School professor Robert Huckman looked at Amazon’s current strong points that may lead them to become an Amazon healthcare giant. For one, their expertise in things such as one-click ordering may help streamline certain healthcare processes. He suggested, “(It) could be used to improve health care delivery by addressing the administrative hassle and scheduling challenges faced by patients seeking routine services in a one-stop setting.”
Amazon’s Willingness to Experiment
Among many other ideas Huckman pointed out, he also mentioned Amazon is willing to experiment. While the company does not yet have a full solution—as affirmed by Buffett—its joint venture with Berkshire and JPMorgan allowed them a new space to play around with bold ideas and innovations. “Amazon may be able to play a key role in allocating resources to solutions that show themselves, over time, to be promising,” he said.
While the debate over the trio’s attempt at transforming healthcare goes on, it’s important to realize and acknowledge its path is a challenging one—one where Amazon may find a way to become a leader once more in an industry it disrupts.
CB Insights, a venture capital (VC) database, worked with The New York Times for the second year in a row to help rank the top 100 venture capitalists. Using CB Insights’ Investor Mosaic algorithm, the partnership gathered data from “The Cruncher”—a machine learning technology that does algorithmic ranking—along with thousands of firm submissions determined the top VC companies from all over the world. These top 100 venture capitalists helped kick-start and boost many growing businesses bound to create bold impacts in various industries.
By definition, venture capital means the money invested in new and growing businesses often characterized by a substantial amount of risk. However, these businesses push through due to long-term growth potential demonstrated by high revenue, high employee growth, or a combination of both. Most of the time, VC funding comes from financial institutions, investment banks and well-off businesspeople—known as investors.
Factors Considered in the List of Top 100 Venture Capitalists
CB Insights’ Investor Mosaic, which determines private company performance, gets funding from the National Science Foundation. The Mosaic gives “predictive intelligence” in regard to company health, akin to a FICO or credit score. This system they have created considers many—albeit high-level—factors, including:
An investor’s exits, pertaining to the size and stage of their entry
Their connectivity to other investors—that is, similar to how Google Pagerank works
The frequency, size and stage of their entry in un-exited companies with high value
How recent their performance was—this focus is only as far back as 2008 (meaning these are the top ranking VCs of today and not the best VCs of all time)
Top 10 Movers and Shakers (or the Best Among the Top 100 Venture Capitalists)
Among the top-ranking and notable movers of 2017 are Brian Singerman of Founders Fund at No. 5 and Ravi Mhatre of Lightspeed Venture Partners at No. 6. The former moved up the list of Top 100 venture capitalists just after Founders Fund acquired Stemcentrx for around $10.2 billion. The latter moved up after creating three M&A and IPO exits worth well over $1 billion each, namely AppDynamics, MuleSoft, and Nutanix since the previous year (September 2016).
Most, if not all, of the top 100 venture capitalists have at least one co-investor. Here are the top 10 rankings:
1. Bill Gurley, Benchmark
Benchmark focuses on many early-stage investments in various markets, including communications, enterprise software and services, semiconductors, security, mobile computing, financial services, and consumer services. Based in San Francisco, California, the firm invests in the range of $100,000 to $15 million. Notable recent investments include Domo, Wealthfront, The Pill Club, Bugsnag (with Google Ventures and Matrix Partners), and Timescale. Gurley is a general partner in the company, often listed on the Forbes Midas List, Forbes Magazine’s annual ranking of the best high-tech and life science VCs.
2. Chris Sacca, Lowercase Capital
Lowercase Capital, headed by Sacca, invests in many startups as well as acquires several later-stage companies. The company often also advises businesses regarding strategy and execution. Based in Hermosa Beach, California, Lowercase’s notable recent investments are Tala, Viro Media, WaveDash, Predictive Talent, and Smash.gg—among others.
3. Jeffrey Jordan, Andreessen Horowitz
The Silicon Valley-based major VC firm has $4.2 billion under management. A household name, Andreessen Horowitz has $4.2 billion under management and invests in various companies ranging from seed to growth, with the most recent ones including: uBeam, Descript (no co-investors), dYdX Trading, Usermind, and Cumulus Networks (along with various co-investors including Sequoia Capital).
4. Alfred Lin, Sequoia Capital
Based in Menlo Park, California, Sequoia is a global VC firm with offices located in the U.S., India, China and Israel. Founded in 1972 by Don Valentine, Sequoia’s most recent investments include Rappi (no co-investors), Uber (along with three other co-investors), Cumulus Networks (along with various co-investors including Andreessen Horowitz), Kahuna, and Front—among others.
5. Brian Singerman, Founders Fund
Another VC firm based in San Francisco, Founders Fund was created by Peter Thiel and Ken Howery in 2005. As one of the top movers in this year’s rankings, the company has helped fund Niantic [the company behind augmented reality (AR) sensation Pokemon Go], Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Yass (no co-investors), Affirm, and SmithRx. Notably, Singerman is a former Google employee, who eventually founded the angel fund company, XGYC Fund. His largest investment, Stemcentrx, was eventually acquired by AbbVie, thus becoming the largest portfolio exit in Founders Fund history at $10.2 billion.
6. Ravi Mhatre, Lightspeed Venture Partners
Another Menlo Park-based VC firm, Lightspeed focuses on accelerating disruptive trends and innovations in the Consumer and Enterprise sectors, helping build over 200 companies all over the world. Some of its more recent notable investments include Affirm, Girlboss Media, Daily Harvest (co-invested by celebrity chef Bobby Flay, actress Haylie Duff, band M13, athlete Shaun White, and VC firm VMG Partners), Ladder, and Dremio. Mhatre is a founding partner of Lightspeed and is also the co-owner of Mhatre Investments LP.
7. Josh Kopelman, First Round Capital
Based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, First Round Capital is a VC firm that focuses on pre-revenue and previously unfunded companies. It also has offices in San Francisco. Some of the company’s notable recent investments are Kindred Systems, Nimble Pharmacy, Health IQ (along with various co-investors including Andreessen Horowitz), PacketZoom, and Uplevel Security (no co-investors). Kopelman is the founder of Half.com, which he sold to eBay in 2000.
8 Peter Fenton, Benchmark
Also a general partner at the aforementioned Benchmark, Fenton is also often part of the Forbes Midas—most recently ranked No. 2 in 2015. In 2014, he received TechCrunch’s Crunchie award for Venture Capitalist of the Year. Later the same year, his two investments New Relic and Hortonworks went public the same day. He currently serves on the board of tech giants Twitter and Yelp—among many others.
9. Nanpeng (Neil) Shen, Sequoia Capital (China)
Serving as the China arm of the world-famous funding source for many startups in the country, Sequoia Capital China is based in Beijing. Some of the company’s most recent investments include Tianjishuju, Ziroom, Snow, Xianfengshuiguo (no co-investors), and XtalPi (along with Google and Tencent Holdings). Markedly, Shen is the founding and managing partner of Sequoia’s China branch but has previously established himself as the co-founder and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Ctrip.com—a travel site based in China.
10. Steve Anderson, Baseline Ventures
Baseline is a VC firm based in San Francisco and specializes in seed-stage investments in the area. It was founded by Anderson, who also serves as the company’s Managing Partner. Some of Baseline’s most recent notable investments are Backplane, Sendwithus, PacketZoom, nWay, and CircleCI. It should be noted that Anderson was also Instagram’s first investor and has been part of the Midas List for years.
The Rest of the Top 100 Venture Capitalists of 2017
There are many astounding venture capitalists willing to invest in ideas that are truly worth financing and support. Here are the remaining 90 of the top 100 venture capitalists of the past year based on CB Insights Investor Mosaic algorithm:
Fred Wilson, Union Square Ventures
Kirsten Green, Forerunner Ventures
Jeremy Liew, Lightspeed Venture Partners
Neeraj Agrawal, Battery Ventures
Michael Moritz, Sequoia Capital
Danny Rimer, Index Ventures
Aydin Senkut, Felicis Ventures
Asheem Chandna, Greylock Partners
Mitch Lasky, Benchmark
Mary Meeker, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Roelof Botha, Sequoia Capital
Peter Thiel, Founders Fund
Michael Maples, Jr., Floodgate
Nabeel Hyatt, Spark Capital
Rebecca Lynn, Canvas Ventures
Marc Andreessen, Andreessen Horowitz
Matt Cohler, Benchmark
Ping Li, Accel
Scott Sandell, New Enterprise Associates
Salil Deshpande, Bain Capital Ventures
David Sze, Greylock Partners
Ben Horowitz, Andreessen Horowitz
Bijan Sabet, Spark Capital
Jenny Lee, GGV Capital
Bradley Feld, Foundry Group
Sameer Gandhi, Accel
Bryan Roberts, Venrock
Douglas Leone, Sequoia Capital
Promod Haque, Norwest Venture Partners
Josh Stein, Draper Fisher Jurvetson
Sandy Miller, Institutional Venture Partners
Carl Gordon, OrbiMed Advisors
Ted Schlein, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Randy Glein, DFJ Growth
Ryan Sweeney, Accel
Byron Deeter, Bessemer Venture Partners
Navin Chaddha, Mayfield Fund
George Zachary, CRV
Mike Volpi, Index Ventures
Michael Dearing, Harrison Metal
Jeremy Levine, Bessemer Venture Partners
Reid Hoffman, Greylock Partners
Hemant Taneja, General Catalyst
Jim Breyer, Breyer Capital
David Pakman, Venrock
Satish Dharmaraj, Redpoint Ventures
Yuri Milner, DST Global
Rich Wong, Accel
Stuart Peterson, Artis Ventures
Robert Nelsen, ARCH Venture Partners
Mamoon Hamid, Social Capital
Shervin Pishevar, Sherpa Capital
David Weiden, Khosla Ventures
Aneel Bhusri, Greylock Partners
Andrew Braccia, Accel
Jeff Clavier, SoftTech VC
Gordon Ritter, Emergence Capital Partners
Keith Rabois, Khosla Ventures
Matt Murphy, Menlo Ventures
Ann Winblad, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners
Jai Das, Sapphire Ventures
Ann Lamont, Oak HC/FT
Matt McIlwain, Madrona Venture Group
Beth Seidenberg, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
David Cowan, Bessemer Venture Partners
Hans Tung, GGV Capital
Related image, Tony Florence, New Enterprise Associates
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