citybiz+ NEA Leads $20M Series A for Anterior’s AI-driven Push for Healthcare Efficiencies

New York-based Anterior, which uses generative artificial intelligence to enhance the efficiencies of healthcare administration, has closed a $20 million Series A round led by New Enterprise Associates. Three other California firms — Sequoia Capital, Blue Lion Global, and Neo — also joined the round for the company previously known as Co:Helm.

Co-founded by engineer Zahid Mahmood and Abdel Mahmoud, who has degrees in medicine and computer science, Anterior last year raised $3.2 million in a seed round led by Sequoia. Other investors in that round included engineers and founders at Deepmind and Inflection AI, senior executives at Google, unicorn founders in healthcare and scouts/angels at A16z, Kleiner Perkins, Europe’s Atomico and Lightspeed.

Targeting Billions in Savings

“Our proprietary technology will reduce the administrative burden health insurers in the U.S. face, ultimately saving the country billions, and enabling doctors and nurses to work at the top of their license,” said Mahmoud, who previously worked at Google and Meta.

“With half of our team being doctors or nurses, we deeply understand the problem we’re solving,” added Mahmoud, who this year made it to the Forbes list of 30 Under 30.

Subsequent to the funding, NEA’s co-CEO, Mohamad Makhzoumi, joined Anterior’s board. “There is a critical need to create efficiencies in healthcare administration, and Anterior’s advanced technology can help streamline processes, reduce costs, and have a significant impact on the industry,” said Makhzoumi, a 19-year NEA veteran based in Menlo Park, Calif.

App with ‘Superpowers’

Anterior specifically targets prior authorizations required by insurers. Currently, this process is handled by expensive clinicians, and racks up an estimated $950 billion in annual costs. The company claims its AI-powered app, called Florence, brings “superpowers to unlock their productivity.”

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Use of Florence can cut the time taken for insurers’ approval to mere minutes, rather than hours, says Anterior. The company’s vice president of clinical operations, Jen Mueller, says Florence can halve the industry average of 10.5 complex cases per nurse per day that require so-called Medical Necessity Reviews

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“Five years from now, we want Florence to be as ubiquitous as a doctor’s pager but 100x smarter — a trusted partner to clinicians and a core component of healthcare payers’ strategy to create efficiencies and reduce costs,” said Mueller, a registered nurse and former health plan executive.

An executive at Lake Mary, Fla.-based MedWatch, one of Anterior’s earliest customers, said her company’s nurses love Florence, which allows its nurses to use their clinical expertise, rather than digging through paperwork. “Florence saves them time, and empowers them to confidently and efficiently make the final decision in any case,” said Valerie Limpus, MedWatch’s chief operations and technology officer.