Andreessen Horowitz just promoted a VC rising star to figure out how software will transform healthcare. Here are the top 3 areas she plans to invest in.

  • Andreessen Horowitz is going deeper into investing in companies that could change the way healthcare is paid for and delivered.
  • As part of the firm's bio fund, it's promoted Julie Yoo to general partner, joining general partners Jorge Conde and Vijay Pande. 
  • It's happening at a time when companies are betting that technology will be key to building a better insurance company or primary care provider. 
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The venture capital firm with the tagline "software is eating the world" thinks it's now time to apply that to your doctor's office, too. 

Andreessen Horowitz on Wednesday promoted Julie Yoo to general partner, joining Jorge Conde and Vijay Pande at the firm's biofund. In that role, Yoo will be investing in all the ways healthcare is paid for and administered. In short, her thesis will be: software is eating care delivery.

To date, Andreessen Horowitz has launched two biofunds, which in total have $650 million to invest in startups focused on the intersection of biology and technology. The company has also made some bets on healthcare companies like health insurance startup Devoted Health. 

Going forward, the hope is to go deeper into the intersection of technology and the ways healthcare is paid for and delivered. 

"You're seeing the next generation of companies emerging who are tackling the space," Conde said. 

Read more: Meet the 8 companies changing how doctors get paid and building the future of medicine

To capture that, the team brought in Yoo. Yoo joined Andreessen Horowitz earlier in 2019 as a partner after nearly a decade working at Kyruus, an enterprise software company she cofounded that helps health systems match and schedule patients with doctors within the system. She's a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she was pre-med and majored in computer science. 

Earlier this year, Yoo was featured on Business Insider's list of the 25 rising stars in venture capital.

Her background deep within the intersection of tech and care delivery is what made the biofund team bring her in to vet additional investments. 

"We needed someone to go deep to make sure we're backing the best," Conde said. 

Yoo told Business Insider that one of the reasons she was keen to join Andreessen Horowitz was a gap she saw in venture investing

Yoo would often find investors who came from a healthcare background but who didn't necessarily understand all that the company was going for from a software perspective, or tech investors who understood the software but weren't as tuned in to healthcare. 

"I really felt that gap in the middle," Yoo said. 

Why the way the US delivers care is changing

When it comes to finding new investments, Yoo said she sees three factors driving the momentum behind new companies at the intersection of care delivery and technology.

First, the implementation of electronic health records at health systems. Yoo lived through a period of time when that infrastructure was still being laid down. Now that it has, health systems are able to lift up their heads and explore new ways to do more with that technology and make it a better experience for those using it.

The second is the financial pressures on the healthcare system. Americans are on the hook for higher healthcare costs than ever, and because of that, they want more for what they're stuck paying.  

"If we're going to pay more, our expectations rise as far as customer service and customer experience," Yoo said. In turn, healthcare companies that have long neglected customer service will need to scramble to change and not lose their business to others. 

Finally, Yoo said, the new ways healthcare is being paid for are leading to new and existing companies to get creative. For instance, hospitals are putting more of their services outside the hospital and companies from Devoted Health to large health systems are finding new ways to pay for the care of aging Americans. 

Here's what Yoo is looking to invest in

Yoo said she'll be focused on three particular areas where software can augment care delivery.

  • The first is in companies looking to transform the way we access the healthcare system so that it's easy to navigate when you get sick and need to find the most appropriate place to get care that won't be unnecessarily expensive. 
  • The second will be in companies looking to make the industry more efficient. Yoo pointed to how cumbersome it can be to process revenue in the industry compared to others, in large part because of the manual process of health insurance claims. 
  • Finally, companies that are physically helping you navigate care, whether that's getting to and from appointments or the place where you meet your doctor. "Once you become a patient, what are the companies transforming actual care delivery itself?" Yoo said.

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