Nationwide invests in Beam Dental, Health Gorilla
Following Nationwide’s recent venture capital investment fund expansion announcement, the company is wasting no time using that money to partner with new startups.
Nationwide is announcing investments in Beam Dental and Health Gorilla - two companies whose technologies are working to modernize antiquated systems and in turn streamline the customer experience.
“We’re committed to investing in companies that can unlock new sources of value for our members, the companies in which we invest, and for Nationwide,” said Angie Klett, Nationwide’s Senior Vice-President of Corporate Development Leadership. “We’re confident these two latest investments will deliver innovative ways to help meet and exceed the needs of our customers.”
Beam Dental, a Columbus, Ohio-based digital-first dental insurer that rewards its members for good dental hygiene, is simplifying the paper-logged $75 billion dental insurance industry for members, brokers, and employers alike by making dental coverage easier, smarter, and preventative.
In 2012, three engineers formed Beam to disrupt the fragmented dental insurance industry. Since then, Beam has grown to 250 employees, expanded to serve employers in 41 states, and increased its dentist network to 400,000 access points in all 50 states.
Nationwide’s commercial relationship with Beam began in 2019 when the dental health company began offering Nationwide’s simplified benefits products to its customers. During that partnership, Beam’s purpose-built, digital policy administration platform caught the attention of Nationwide’s venture capital team. The platform makes everything from quotes to claims fast and easy for brokers, members and employers. With smart pricing driven by machine learning, benefits brokers get custom, accurate quotes in as little as 30 seconds. Members who use Beam’s connected toothbrush may earn lower insurance rates based on their dental hygiene as well as incentives to maintain better wellness overall. Beam’s holistic technology approach and focus on creating value for their customers catalyzed the investment.
“Beam is a valued distribution partner in today’s digital world. Their technology platform is poised to disrupt an industry that has seen little innovation over the years,” said Syed Rizvi, Vice President and Chief Specialty Insurance Officer at Nationwide. “We look forward to continuing to work with them to achieve our common goals of serving the broader needs of our customers while creating great user experiences.”
Nationwide’s investment is part of Beam Dental’s Series E fundraise, bringing the company's total funding to more than $160 million. Beam will use the new capital to expand its offering to new markets, onboard additional employee benefits brokerages, and add additional products highly desired by today's most innovative employers.
Health Gorilla, the leading provider of healthcare APIs, is focused on streamlining access to clinical data with a suite of FHIR-based APIs that digital health developers integrate into their products. With Health Gorilla’s APIs, developers can access data from a vast network of care sites without having to do resource-intensive, one-off integrations, expediting access to data and enabling better patient care.
“Being able to access health data quickly and efficiently is a game-changer for underwriting life insurance products. We believe their technology can drastically change underwriting processes that have previously taken weeks,” said Erik Ross, leader of Nationwide’s venture capital team. “Nationwide recognizes the opportunities within Health Gorilla’s platform to benefit our members and we are looking forward to helping them scale through our investment.”
Nationwide’s investment is part of Health Gorilla’s $15 million Series B financing. With the new funding, Health Gorilla will accelerate its expansion into new business verticals, including insurance, life sciences, and government organizations. In addition, Health Gorilla will introduce new APIs to enable consumer access to medical records, payer-to-payer data sharing, and data quality assessments.
Nationwide’ venture capital team journey
Nationwide’s venture capital investments are directed into insurance and financial services startups with high-growth potential that directly advance Nationwide’s strategy and enable even greater customer value.
To date, Nationwide’s venture capital team has invested in 27 companies, including HOVER, Indico, Deep Sentinel, Planck, Upstream Security, KINETIC, and Vesta Health Care. The team has also helped to facilitate 31 partnerships between startups and Nationwide business units.
Tech startups interested in partnering with Nationwide can visit https://www.nationwide.com/cps/nw-ventures.html for more information.
Nationwide’s Corporate Development mission
Nationwide recently aligned Corporate Development capabilities to include the venture capital, mergers and acquisitions, and strategic partnership teams. These groups look for unique collaboration opportunities that help business units meet new or developing customer needs. These collaborations are enabled by Nationwide’s best-in-class digital infrastructure, which allows Nationwide to provide a unique digital experience for partners and their customers.