In a move that illustrates Princeton-based Edison Partners’ continued commitment to the state of New Jersey and to New Jersey startups, the venture capital firm announced that it would be the lead stakeholder in a $10 million investment in Health Recovery Solutions (HRS), based in Hoboken.
HRS was established in 2012 by Jarrett Bauer, Rohan Udeshi and Daniel Priece, and has since grown into a market leader in remote patient monitoring. According to a release, the funds will be used to “accelerate the company’s go-to-market capabilities and augment its best-in-class technology platform within the $12 billion telemedicine market.” HRS is Edison’s 49th investment in New Jersey.
In an explanation of what the company does, an Edison statement pointed out that “chronic disease continues to drive up healthcare costs and is the leading cause of hospital readmissions. Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is becoming a fundamental tool for decreasing readmissions, improving outcomes and reducing the overall cost of care. … HRS provides an RPM platform that allows health systems and home care agencies to reduce hospital readmission rates by up to 80% while improving patient and caregiver satisfaction.”
Explaining Edison’s choice of HRS, Gregg Michaelson, the partner at Edison Partners who led the investment, told NJTechWeekly.com, “We have mapped the telehealth market and believe that the HRS product and business model will make it the clear market leader in the remote patient monitoring space. The founders are passionate and persistent about improving the health of millions of Americans. We believe those qualities, along with their proven strategic and tactical chops, will create another huge outcome for a New Jersey company.”
He continued, “We believe this company is unique in many ways—best product in the competitive set, very profitable unit economics, exceptional revenue growth and a founding team that desires more than just funding from a financial partner.”
In a release, Michaelson stated, “As the U.S. healthcare industry shifts to a value-based care model, providers are more incentivized than ever to decrease readmissions and improve patient outcomes.” Michaelson will join the HRS board of directors.
“We’re delivering a comprehensive solution to costly chronic disease management,” Bauer stated. “Our partnership with Edison Partners will allow us to further accelerate toward our ultimate goal of positively impacting millions of patients who are unnecessarily readmitted to the hospital every year. We’re thrilled to partner with the Edison team as they bring healthcare and technology expertise, along with operational capabilities, to help us drive toward a premium outcome.”
The HRS software platform connects post-acute patients with clinicians and family caregivers, allowing for daily performance tracking, video visits, dietary guidance and a host of other engagement and communication tools. Clinicians utilize the platform to track vital statistics, manage patient recovery and to intervene directly or through a family caregiver when necessary. The software is customizable, with more than 40 treatment plans for conditions such as diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), congestive heart failure and chronic kidney disease.
The company has more than 140 customers across the healthcare provider network, including recognized names such as Banner Health (Phoenix), Penn Medicine at Home (Philadelphia), WellCare Health Plans (Tampa), Northwell Health (Lake Success, N.Y.) and MedStar Health (Columbia, Md.).
Ben Franklin Technology Partners’ Global Opportunity Philadelphia Fund , or Philly Go Fund for short, announced its first two investment in late August, in two Philly area expansion-stage ventures.
The Fund, announced in February by Ben Franklin along with Newtown-based EPAM Systems, has raised $20 million – a significant portion of it from EPAM and Ben Franklin-towards a $50 million goal. Ben Franklin’s chief investment officer and managing partner of GO Philly, Scott Nissenbaum, told me he sees the fund not primarily as a vehicle for expanding seed funding to more early-stage startups, but as a way for Ben Franklin to participate in some followup fundings in ventures its already helped seed, which it can’t do today.
Its first two Philly Go Fund investments, Ambler-based customer loyalty platform Clutch, and Philly-based ecommerce performance marketing technology company Sidecar, fit the criteria. Sidecar ($1 million as part of a $7.5 million C-1 participating preferred round) has raised $38 million in total to date per CrunchBase, Clutch ($750,000 as part of the company’s $2.5 million senior preferred note in preparation for its forthcoming larger Series C) has raised $24.8 million.
With the Go Philly Fund’s potential level of investment, Ben Franklin can double down in later rounds in some of the promising ventures it seeded. That’s when a VC knows more about a venture’s chances for success, which can result in higher returns. Possibly, Ben Franklin can use such returns to further grow its investment pool.
When fully funded, Go Philly will be a considerable pool of capital. But investments of the size it just made are not, by themselves, going to have a significant impact upon the shortage in expansion stage capital that some feel holds the Philly venture scene back. Its not going to replace the millions that Safeguard Scientifics could sometimes invest in companies such as Clutch. Or going back aways, Portico Systems (where Clutch’s founder was CEO) or ThingWorx. But it will help.
The blockchain feature of the fund, in which one can invest using cryptocurrency, has already been utilized and is an innovative tool for the future.
My own instincts are to be cautious about state-funded venture investing. I can imagine some states -none near Pennsylvania of course – where such funding might be diverted to political chronies, or even relatives. And everything I’ve ever been taught about investing tells me that the state doesn’t do it very well.
But I’ve been following Ben Franklin closely for a long time now, and I know it works closely with the area’s top VCs to vet deals, and I’ve never heard a squeak about impropriety. Its a model many states try to emulate. Its a winner for Pennsylvania.
In the past, supplemental state funding has eased the burden of the cuts, but Ben Franklin was told those sources would no longer be available in the new fiscal year.
I had an idea that some of the windfall the sate received from the new internet sales tax could be allocated to Ben Franklin.
It is difficult for such a small fund to produce optimal performance because there’s little scale to cover any overhead.
The logjam that exists in Harrisburg on this, considering the relatively small amounts of money involved, is hard to understand.
By the way, EPAM is a great company whose participation can only be a plus for the Philly Tech community..
WAYNE, Pa., Sept. 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Sungard® Availability Services (Sungard AS) announced its new board of managers following the company’s successful financial restructuring in May 2019. The company’s new board will consist of a combination of independent industry veterans, representatives from its largest equity holders, and the company’s chief executive officer and president, Michael (Mike) K. Robinson.
The company welcomes three independent members that bring a vast amount of business transformation and operating experience in the technology and infrastructure services sectors, including:
Robert E. Guth, who will serve as chairman of the board, has a demonstrated background of driving growth and building shareholder value serving in operating roles, as well as independent director roles at businesses such as TelCove, Electric Lightwave, and Lumos Networks;
Jarrett B. Appleby brings more than 25 years of senior management experience successfully developing and executing growth strategies for technology platform and IT solutions companies in competitive global markets, such as Digital Realty Trust, Coresite Realty, Inc., and Equinix, Inc.; and
Michael Tobin OBE (Order of the British Empire) a highly successful and well-recognized technology entrepreneur and pioneer with over 30 years’ experience in the telecommunications and technology sectors, with companies such as Telecity Group, plc., Fujitsu, and ICL. Mr. Tobin will be a director of Sungard AS’ European holding company, as well as an advisor to Sungard AS’ parent board.
“As a team, we recognize the strength of Sungard AS’ global geographic footprint, range of facilities-based and cloud-based managed services capabilities, long-standing marquis customer relationships, talented team, and the market opportunity,” said Robert E. Guth, chairman of the board. “We are confident Sungard AS will continue to evolve to deliver solutions that enterprises need in an ever-changing market. And, as a board we will work together leveraging our differentiated experiences to support the company’s initiatives and are committed to invest in Sungard AS’ continued success.”
In addition, the company’s four largest equity holders—Angelo Gordon, The Carlyle Group, FS Investments, and GSO Capital Partners LP, each of which invested new capital into the business during its balance sheet restructuring—will serve on Sungard AS’ Board. Each member brings extensive financial experience working across a variety of industry sectors, including information technology services. The equity holders are represented on the board by:
Bryan Rush, managing director, Angelo Gordon;
Glori Holzman Graziano, managing director, The Carlyle Group;
Jacob Gladstone, principal, GSO Capital Partners LP.
Mike Robinson is also on the company’s board. Mr. Robinson joined the business as CEO in May 2019, leading the business and re-energizing focus in both the company’s more traditional facilities-based offerings, such as colocation and workplace, as well as its more recent offerings in the managed services market, such as Managed Cloud – AWS and cloud-based Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), for which the company is recognized as a leader.
“I am very pleased with the differentiated expertise that we have assembled on our board,” stated Robinson. “This is a highly engaged group of respected business and financial experts, with deep knowledge of driving successful business transformations. They, as am I, are committed to our success and clearly recognize the value that we deliver for our customers, as we continue to work hard together to earn the opportunity to do so for many years to come.”
About Sungard Availability Services
Sungard Availability Services (“Sungard AS”) is a leading provider of critical production and recovery services to global enterprise companies. Sungard AS partners with customers across the globe to understand their business needs and provide production and recovery services tailored to help them achieve their desired business outcomes. Leveraging more than 40 years of experience, Sungard AS designs, builds and runs critical IT services that help customers manage complex IT, adapt quickly and build resiliency and availability. To learn more, visit www.sungardas.com or call 1-800-468-7483. Connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
Media Contacts Karen Wentworth Vice President, Global Corporate Communications Sungard Availability Services Tel: 410.279.0563 firstname.lastname@example.org
The abbreviation for Sungard Availability Services is ‘Sungard AS’ as cited above. Please use ‘Sungard AS’ when abbreviating the name rather than ‘Sungard’ or ‘SunGard,’ which may confuse the reader with another separate company with a similar name.
Kansas City-based healthcare systems vendor Cerner confirmed this week it was laying off 255 employees, effective November 5.
Cerner’s financials are not suffering much, but it may be entering a slower growth phase as reliance on one business model (implementing electronic health records) must be replaced by another and the solution is not yet clear.
In April, Cerner entered into an agreement with activist investor fund Starboard Value, which owns more than 1 percent of the company’s stock. The agreement included taking a look at Cerner’s operations. Cerner agreed to implement operating and cost structure changes.
How does this effect Cerner Malvern, the result of Cerner’s 2015 acquisition of Siemens Health Services, formerly Shared Medical Systems?
Cerner has around 30,00 employees. It posted 2018 results of $5.366 billion in revenue and net income of $630 million. According to LinkedIn, Cerner has approximately 1300 Philly area employees.
I’ve asked Cerner for comment. Received the following response:
“As mentioned in our Earnings call earlier this year, we’re looking to identify organizational efficiencies as we implement our new operating model. Part of that strategy includes a realignment of resces focused on key growth areas across the company. We’ve onboarded nearly 3,000 associates this year and will continue to hire hundreds more throughout 2019. Impacted associates are eligible for those opportunities.
In Malvern, Cerner has what we call a “Center of Excellence” built around Revenue Cycle Management (our integrated approach to linking the continuum of care with effective billing and scheduling) as well as other functions including finance, human resources and other corporate and executive roles.“
Though not surprised by it, I missed the note that appeared back in June in PE Hub (registration required), saying that Lawrenceville (NJ)-based Billtrust was on the market. Its specialty is automating and speeding up the B2B payment process, slower to modernize in some areas than consumer payments, which are more easily converted to mass production techniques..
Sources were telling PE Hub that Billtrust expected to fetch $600 t0 $700 million, which sounds realistic. An incoming bid apparently triggered an auction process. Goldman, also an investor, was advising Billtrust. Billtrust, with 400 employees, was founded in 2001.
Goldman Sachs Private Capital, Bain Capital Ventures, and Visa were among major investors. Billtrust had raised $104 million in total, according to Crunchbase. Edison Partners, its first institutional investor, has already exited with a more than 10x return on its investment, the venture firm said.
Late last year Visa and Billtrust had launched the Business Payments Network (BPN), which JPMorganChase (which bought Philly healthcare payments site InstaMed in the spring) has just joined.
Flint Lane, founder & CEO, tweeted this today:
Which may have been simply intended to recognize that anniversary, but to me sounded like perhaps a deal or transition of some kind is imminent and Lane is sunning things up.
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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday vetoed legislation that would have extended the state’s controversial tax break law, and he recommended a sweeping overhaul of a program state investigators say benefited powerful insiders at the expense of taxpayers.
“For the past six years, New Jersey has operated under a severely flawed tax incentive program that wasted taxpayer money on handouts to connected companies instead of creating jobs and economic growth,” Murphy said in a prepared statement.
That program expired at the end of June, but the Legislature passed a bill that would have extended it for seven months as the governor and lawmakers negotiated reforms. More than $11 billion in tax credits for 1,000 projects have been approved by the state since 2005, Murphy wrote in his six-page message to legislators.
The veto follows weeks of talks between the governor’s office and legislative leaders, as well as months of public scrutiny, including a WNYC-ProPublica investigation that detailed how South Jersey political boss George E. Norcross III and his associates helped craft — and benefit from — the tax break program.
Of the $1.6 billion in incentives awarded to companies in his hometown, Camden, $1.1 billion flowed to businesses and nonprofits owned by or connected to Norcross, the news organizations found. Norcross has denied any wrongdoing and defended the incentives as a tool to revive the state’s impoverished cities.
Senate President Stephen Sweeney, a Norcross ally, has formed a committee to study reforms and maintains that he is open to fixing flaws in the tax break programs. But he has resisted the administration’s demands that the programs be radically downsized. The Democratic leader has not ruled out a vote to override Murphy’s veto, but such an act would represent an extraordinary challenge to the head of his own party; the Legislature hasn’t overriden a governor in 22 years.
Sweeney’s office did not immediately return a call seeking comment Friday afternoon.
Sen. Loretta Weinberg, a Democratic leader from Bergen County, says that she doesn’t expect an override of the veto, but that the Legislature would work with the governor to come up with a compromise. She defended her vote to extend the controversial tax break program.
“We re-upped the program for a very limited length of time, to keep the program operating to keep the things that were in the pipeline, in the pipeline,” Weinberg said.
Murphy called Friday for shrinking the tax break initiative by capping overall awards at $400 million and targeting tax credits for small businesses, while beefing up the state’s ability to monitor hiring and direct awards to underdeveloped areas. He would replace the two expired tax break programs with five smaller programs catering to high-growth industries, mixed-use projects, historic preservation and the redevelopment of contaminated land.
Any new tax credit program would ultimately have to be approved by the Legislature.
Murphy’s veto caps a year of controversy and debate that has riven New Jersey politics.
Meet George Norcross. Nearly two thirds of $1.6 billion in tax incentives in his hometown of Camden, New Jersey, went to his own company, business partners, political allies and clients of his brother.
In a January 2019 audit, the New Jersey comptroller’s office found that state oversight of the tax break programs was poor. The state Economic Development Authority, which approves the tax incentives, was unable to verify that companies were fulfilling promises to create new jobs and make investments in new factories and workspaces, according to the report.
A task force subsequently formed by Murphy found that the 2013 law creating the tax breaks was shaped by insiders to benefit their business interests, particularly insiders allied with Norcross. The task force has referred some findings to the state attorney general’s office, which is conducting a criminal inquiry.
Reports by WNYC and ProPublica revealed new details about the Norcross machine’s role in writing the law, as well as flaws in the EDA’s oversight. The agency awarded a $260 million tax credit to Holtec International, a nuclear technology company, despite major omissions in the firm’s application, the news organizations found.
Norcross serves as an unpaid director on the Holtec board.
Also under scrutiny is the $39.9 million tax break approved in 2014 for Cooper Health System, where Norcross is board chairman.
Investigators with Murphy’s task force say they found evidence that Cooper Health and the Norcross-connected firms misled the state by falsely claiming they were considering moving out of New Jersey. The claim dramatically boosted their tax awards — by $32 million in the case of Cooper Health — investigators found. Norcross and Cooper have strongly denied any wrongdoing in seeking the tax benefits.
Norcross filed suit in state Superior Court to disband Murphy’s task force, which he claims was formed to single him out, but a judge dismissed the case last month, citing studies dating before Murphy’s election that showed deep-seated problems with the tax break program.
Norcross has appealed the decision.
This report was produced with support from the McGraw Fellowship for Business Journalism at the Craig Newmark School of Journalism, City University of New York.
ProPublica and WNYC are spending the year investigating the power and influence wielded by party bosses in New Jersey’s political system. If you know something about the state’s controversial tax incentive program, we’d like to hear from you. We’d particularly like to hear from:
Past or present state employees who can tell us about the mechanics of the tax break program
Past or present employees at companies that received tax breaks since 2013 who can tell us about the application process
If you have something to share with us, here’s how to do it:
Nancy Solomon is managing editor for New Jersey Public Radio and WNYC. Jeff Pillets, a 2008 Pulitzer Prize finalist, has written about politics and public corruption in New Jersey for more than 20 years. Email Solomon at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter at @nancysolomon2. Follow Pillets on Twitter at @jpillets.
Meet George Norcross. Nearly two thirds of $1.6 billion in tax incentives in his hometown of Camden, New Jersey, went to his own company, business partners, political allies and clients of his brother.