Oscar Health raises $165 million at reported $3B valuation

By Darrel Etherington for TechCrunch

Oscar  Health, the startup run by Josh Kushner  (yes, brother of Jared), has raised $165 million at a reported valuation of $3.2 billion, CNBC’s Christina Farr reports. The funding comes from Alphabet’s  Capital G investment company and Verily life sciences corporation, Founders Fund and others.

Oscar’s goal is to outpace existing industry-leading insurers, including UnitedHealth and Aetna,  with an emphasis on mobile technology, including an appointment booking app and other tools for encouraging engaged consumers across its platform.

The startup seemed to be in some potential trouble because of its focus providing an insurance marketplace for Affordable Care Act beneficiaries, but the company has changed its model to one in which customers are charged higher premiums, and with closer relationships with a select group of care providers to help them work out more competitive pricing.

Per CNBC, Oscar Health  also left the door open for potential partnerships with one of its newest investors, Verily. The Alphabet-owned healthtech company has a number of potential ventures it’s working on, and insurance could feature in a few of those plans, so this could turn out to be a very strategic investor partner.