Investing in H1: SaaS Healthcare Analytics

How can we take a critical process and make it better?

Many successful companies are built from answering this question. Hypotheses form. Solutions are tested. Failures and successes are iterated. In statistics, “H1” is the term for the alternative hypothesis, a new theory to be tested against an old belief. New doesn’t necessarily mean better or worth adopting – benefits must be proven. This is true in every field, including drug development, where a COVID-afflicted world hungers for unproven treatments to reduce suffering and get people back to work.

Hypotheses need to be tested, and it is in that context we are excited to announce our Series A investment in H1.

H1 has built what we believe to be the most comprehensive database and data analytic platform on healthcare professionals, covering over 8 million individuals at more than 16,000 institutions in over 70 countries.

Other data platforms rely on data from third parties. H1 goes further to achieve higher quality and coverage through a combination of automatically gathering and manually curating data from many additional sources. Customers, including pharma, biotech, medical device, and healthcare organizations, are now integrating H1’s data and platform into an expanding set of business processes and workflows, starting with identifying and customizing science-driven communications to engage key physicians about new medicines.

H1 has been bootstrapped to date and graduated from Y Combinator just last month, but 35 pharmaceutical companies have already signed on to their platform–including seven of the global top 10. It’s rare to see such a young company win large enterprise contracts en masse, but this speaks to the quality and potential of their product.

A snapshot of the H1 platform

When we spoke with H1’s customers, they remarked on the breadth of potential applications, the quality of data, and the ease of integration. But what struck us was their consistent appreciation for the responsive, customer-oriented culture of the H1 team. This kind of culture, if sustained and expanded, can create a long-term advantage in a competitive market.

Culture derives from the founders, and H1 co-founders Ariel Katz and Ian Sax have each spent their entire career in data analytics and curation. Ariel has founded multiple data analytics companies focused on customers in healthcare and science. Ian has scaled up data acquisition and curation pipelines serving multiple industries.  We love their experience and laser-sharp focus on solving customers’ unmet critical needs.

Co-founder Ariel Katz

Co-founder Ian Sax

At Menlo, the application of digital technology and large datasets to improve core processes and workflows is a theme across many investments. We actively invest in healthcare data companies (including Benchling, Pillpack, and Rivet), that bring unique data and apply proprietary analytics to improve complex workflows. And before joining Menlo, I built many different products used mostly by scientists and physicians, so I can appreciate first-hand the benefits that many of these novel products can bring.

Every early-stage investment is a series of hypotheses to be tested, and COVID creates even more uncertainty for everyone. But we’re thrilled to invest, alongside Novartis and others, in Ariel, Ian, the whole H1 team, and the alternative hypothesis they represent.

Greg Yap, Menlo Ventures @grgyap