Iris Plans Takes in $5.1M

9/27/17

AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Iris Plans, Inc. (www.irisplans.com), a technology-enabled service providing Advance Care Planning (ACP) through video for people facing serious medical conditions, announces today the closing of its latest round of funding. This financing round is being led by New York City-based Activate Venture Partners, and Austin-based LiveOak Venture Partners, both of which invest in innovative digital health companies solving some of the most intractable problems in the healthcare industry. Several other investors, including Oakland-based impact investor Better Ventures, have also joined the round.

Iris Plans was formed two years ago with the mission of helping people with serious medical conditions live better. Its tech and video-based ACP offering allows people to stay in control of their healthcare, protect their family from unnecessary stress, and reduce unwanted, unnecessary and non-beneficial care, which wastes $210 billion every year.

“The patient journey through serious illness brings far too much unnecessary stress and conflict for patients and their families. This also leads to higher out-of-pocket costs to the family on care that does not meet their hopes or goals,” says Dr. Stephen Bekanich, Co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of Iris Plans. Dr. Bekanich spent years working in hospitals, but became frustrated with how the healthcare system was failing patients and families dealing with serious illness. He became a leader in the field of palliative care, of which ACP is a core focus. He built palliative care programs across the country and helped some of the nation’s top health systems achieve higher quality while lowering their costs, including the largest non-profit healthcare system in the U.S., Ascension Health, and the University of Utah Healthcare, a record-breaker in clinical quality. Dr. Bekanich co-founded Iris Plans to bring this proven solution to a dramatically larger group of families than he could reach through existing channels.

“A huge opportunity exists to improve the quality of care while reducing cost in our healthcare system,” says Todd Pietri, Managing Partner at Activate Venture Partners. “We believe this team has the right mix of skills to generate widespread adoption of a proven clinical solution on top of a scalable business model and powerful technology platform.”

The company currently delivers the service through partnerships with large national healthcare providers and health insurance companies who cover 100% of the cost for their members due to the value it provides. With secure videoconferencing technology, Iris Plans connects people with specially-trained Iris Plans facilitators who provide education, facilitate decision-making and assist in completing and distributing advance healthcare directives to guide future care from their doctors and medical facilities. “This funding will allow thousands of people to take control of their care, avert family crises and avoid unnecessary care which is not in line with their wishes,” says Steve Wardle, Co-founder and CEO at Iris Plans.

“Delivering video-based Advance Care Planning in a scalable fashion requires a unique combination of specialized domain expertise in palliative care and technology. Iris Plans has the right mix of people and strong early proof points with sophisticated institutions that are strong indicators of making this a reality,” says Krishna Srinivasan, General Partner at LiveOak Venture Partners.

About Iris Plans:

Iris Plans is a tech-enabled service that provides Advance Care Planning (ACP) to people with serious medical conditions. ACP’s benefits include higher quality care, less stress, and lower costs. Iris Plans is the first organization to offer comprehensive ACP through a video platform. This virtual ACP service is available nationwide and is delivered through partnerships with payers and value-based healthcare providers.

For more information: www.irisplans.com

About Activate Venture Partners:

Activate Venture Partners (www.activatevp.com), with offices in Pennsylvania and New York City, provides early stage venture capital for high growth technology companies solving important problems in healthcare, financial services and other compelling markets. Activate's partners manage over $200 million and have exited 13 Digital Health investments successfully thus far including Medidata Solutions, Access Health (sold to McKesson), and MapMyFitness (sold to Under Armour).

About LiveOak Venture Partners:

LiveOak is a $109MM Fund based in Austin, TX and was founded by Ben Scott, Krishna Srinivasan, and Venu Shamapant (all formerly of Austin Ventures). While many of LiveOak's investments begin in the early stages, LiveOak is a full lifecycle investor focused on technology and technology-driven service companies based in Texas. With over 16 years of successful early stage investing in Texas, the Founders of LiveOak have helped entrepreneurs create industry-leading companies, such as Spatial Wireless (acquired by Alcatel-Lucent), Navini Networks (acquired by Cisco Systems), LifeSize Technologies (acquired by Logitech) and Mavenir Systems, and StackEngine (Acquired by Oracle).

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