HC9 Ventures Launches with $83 Million First Fund

HC9 Ventures today announced the closing of its first fund, an $83 million vehicle that will invest in healthcare software and services start-ups at Seed and Series A stages. HC9 represents a significant evolution of the venture capital model, bringing true industry expertise to support portfolio companies through an engaged community of healthcare leaders.

HC9 was founded by longtime healthcare leaders and now fund General Partners Richard Lungen, Jon Gordon and Charlie Falcone. Lungen and Falcone have a 16-year track record of unlocking revenue opportunities at scale and driving valuation growth through Leverage Health, the business development organization they previously founded. Gordon previously founded and led New York-Presbyterian’s corporate venture arm, and is a multi-time entrepreneur and operator.

“When we founded HC9, we realized we had an incredible opportunity to build upon the best aspects of venture capital – the financial support it provides for emerging businesses with the potential to transform healthcare – with the insights and relationships from our community. As a result, we can greatly improve the odds of success for the truly transformative businesses we see,” said Richard Lungen, Co-Founder and General Partner of HC9. “We are deeply grateful for the community of HC9 investors – their trust, their engagement and their financial support.”

HC9 focuses on early-stage investments in healthcare software and services businesses, with an emphasis on companies that address care delivery or operational needs for payors and providers. Additionally, the team looks for founders who are seeking an engaged investor, businesses that have transformative potential, and opportunities where the HC9 and its community can add meaningful value. HC9 draws upon its relationships and investor base to provide insights and introductions to drive meaningful inflections in the growth trajectories of these emerging businesses.

“Our experience has taught us that transforming healthcare doesn’t happen overnight – it takes the right insights, the right relationships and a lot of persistence. With more than 70 years’ experience investing in, leading and growing healthcare companies, HC9 leverages the power of experience to support the founders that are shaping the future of healthcare,” said Jon Gordon, Co-Founder and General Partner of HC9.

HC9 is built upon an engaged community of leading healthcare executives, entrepreneurs and investors, all of whom are committed to working with the fund and its portfolio companies. The fund is anchored by several leading health care investors including Jory Capital, which is led by Dave Wichmann, the former CEO of UnitedHealth Group. Collectively, the HC9 community has thousands of years of experience in all aspects of healthcare.

“I am pleased to support a team that has a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities in healthcare, a pragmatic and hands-on approach, and founders who are working to tackle the toughest and most meaningful problems in the industry,” said Wichmann. “HC9 has assembled an incredible community of investors, and I am truly excited about what this team is building.”

HC9 has made three investments to date:

  • Forge Health is a mission-driven provider of high-quality, affordable, accessible, and effective “one-stop-shop” mental health and substance use care for individuals, families, and communities in need. The Forge care model utilizes multidisciplinary clinical teams, data analytics, and streamlined care delivery to provide individualized, whole-person care that addresses mental health and substance use issues concurrently, while also driving improved health outcomes.
  • Psych Hub, the go-to solution for mental health education and navigation, was co-founded by CEO Marjorie Morrison and Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy in 2019. Psych Hub develops content for practitioners, consumers and allies across every learning style, including courses, videos, podcasts, and text resources. The upcoming Psych Hub Connect will enable allies and consumers to be matched with practitioners who are trained to treat their symptoms, are in-network, and are a good cultural fit.
  • XP Health democratizes access to a high-quality, delightful vision care experience that doubles coverage and reduces costs by half. XP is the first modern vision platform focused on eye care and eyewear that can be used to enhance or replace existing vision plans, and uses artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and customer-centric design to create a stellar member experience.

“It was clear from our first conversation that HC9 was the right investor for us,” said Eric Frieman, Co-Founder and CEO of Forge Health. “We immediately identified a number of opportunities for collaboration, and HC9’s support has been invaluable in areas such as opening doors with payors and bringing recognized industry talent to our Board.”

Forge Health recently announced the appointment to their board of Tim Wentworth, Former CEO of Evernorth and Express Scripts – a relationship that was facilitated through Wentworth’s investment in HC9. “I have seen firsthand the thought that HC9 has put into its community of investors and its portfolio, and I appreciate HC9 introducing me to Forge Health at this exciting time in the company’s evolution,” said Wentworth. “I’m looking forward to continued collaboration with the HC9 team and the firm’s companies.”

About HC9

HC9 is an early-stage venture capital firm purpose-built to provide industry-specific expertise to emerging healthcare software and services companies. HC9’s unparalleled, deeply engaged investor community of leading executives, entrepreneurs and investors collectively has thousands of years of experience in all facets of healthcare. We leverage the power of that experience to support the founders that are shaping the future of healthcare. For more information, please visit www.hc9.vc.