When it comes to taking bets on what’s next in healthcare, investors are often the ones calling the shots. Hemant Taneja, managing director of General Catalyst, has sat in the driver’s seat on some of the biggest digital health deals. His firm has invested in a number of digital health companies, from behavioral health company Mindstrong to fitness startup Tempo. But perhaps Taneja’s is best known for his investing in chronic care startup Livongo.
Over the summer, the digital health world was abuzz with news that Livongo was scooped up by Teladoc in a historic $18.5 million merger. As lead investor, Taneja had a front-row seat to the evolution of the company. In fact, he and Livongo founder Glen Tullman sat down together and developed a business plan.
“I had invited [Tullman] to come to the Valley and I introduced him to a lot of entrepreneurs, and in his polite Midwesterner way, at the end of those speed-dating meetings, if you will, he said, ‘I hate to tell you this, but these are not companies that are going to make it.’ His vantage point is he understands the complexities and nuances of healthcare ecosystem. I said, ‘Exactly. How about we partner up and build a company that truly understands technology and healthcare where we can provide the technology perspective? You have tremendous track record in healthcare, and we can build a business that is truly, foundationally at the intersection.’”
The problem that Tullman surfaced years ago is still a common issue in the digital health space,