Google Ventures leads $162 million investment in Flatiron Health

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Ventures led a US$130 million (S$162 million) investment in oncology-data company Flatiron Health, Flatiron said on Wednesday.

The cash will allow New York-based Flatiron to acquire Altos Solutions, an electronic medical-records company specializing in oncology data, for an undisclosed sum.

Flatiron, founded in 2012, taps into myriad data points on individual cancer cases to help doctors select the most promising outcomes for their patients. It also stores billing data, doctors' notes and related information.

Healthcare has become a hot area for venture capital, especially companies related to health, data and software. ZocDoc, which automates appointment booking, has raised around US$100 million. Practice Fusion, which automates medical records, has raised more than US$150 million.

Venture-backed Castlight, which allows patients to compare costs for medical procedures, raised US$204.2 million in its initial public offering last quarter, although its share price of about US$12 is well below the US$37.50 at its March debut.

Google Ventures has also backed Foundation Medicine, which uses vast amounts of data to analyze tumors.

Existing investors First Round Capital and Laboratory Corp also participated in Flatiron's funding round.

Andrew Conrad of GoogleX, Google's home to big projects, will join Flatiron's board of directors. Conrad, former chief scientific officer of clinical laboratory company LabCorp, also sits on the board of Google Ventures-backed SynapDX, which is developing a blood test for autism.

Flatiron's founders Nat Turner and Zach Weinberg previously sold their advertising company, Invite Media, to Google in 2010 for US$81 million.

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