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Yearly Archives: 2022
YPrime, LLC, a global leader in cloud-based eClinical solutions, announces the addition of two key members to its executive team—Mohan Ganesan, Chief Financial Officer and Alison O’Neill, Chief Operating Officer.
As chief financial officer, Mohan Ganesan provides financial and strategic guidance to the company and partners with our investors and executive team to drive investments appropriately. Mohan provides financial oversight and leads the development of standardized business metrics for finance, accounting, business operations, and human resource functions.
As chief operating officer, Alison O’Neill oversees the departments responsible for project management and quality delivery of YPrime’s products and services. With more than 35 years of clinical research experience beginning as a bench chemist in the pharmaceutical industry, Ali has held executive roles in global organizations providing technology solutions to the industry.
“It’s a real privilege to add these two experienced leaders to our executive team,” says Shawn Blackburn, CEO, YPrime. “We have always been about ensuring an optimal experience for sponsors, sites, and patients. Under Mohan’s leadership, we will be able to make strategic decisions about investments that will serve our clients’ ever-evolving needs and measure the impact of our business. Ali’s depth of expertise allows us to continue enhancing our products, processes, and services to meet the needs of these crucial stakeholders throughout a clinical trial.”
Quest Diagnostics Adds Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Through its Patient Service Centers in Collaboration with IRIS
New Capability Enables Individuals Identified as High-Risk by Participating Health Plans to Access Screening through a Quest Diagnostics Site
Builds on Quest’s Extended Care Services to Improve Care Quality and Outcomes in Diabetes and Other Chronic Diseases
Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), the world’s leading provider of diagnostic information services, today announced a collaboration with IRIS (Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems) to deliver diabetic retinal imaging services through designated Quest Diagnostics patient service centers across the United States to aid in screening patients for retinal assessment by a healthcare provider. The collaboration aims to increase convenience and improve screening rates for diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of blindness in the United Statesi, for members of population health management programs sponsored by health plans.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one-third of patients with diabetes over 40 years old have diabetic retinopathy.ii Screening to aid early detection and treatment may help prevent the disease from progressing to blindness.iii While an annual diabetic retinal screening is medically recommended for patients with diabetes, barriers to care can limit access to this service.
In 2018, Quest Diagnostics, through its Quest HealthConnect (QHC) business, began to provide diabetic retinal imaging for use in screening using the IRIS platform. This platform involves the use of a portable, handheld camera that captures a patient’s retinal images as part of its risk evaluation and care services for participating health plan members. The new collaboration with IRIS extends the use of the IRIS platform at Quest’s patient service centers.
New service builds on Quest’s vision to aid in closing gaps in care for patients with diabetes
The new service expands on the Quest Diagnostics Extended Care portfolio of services designed to facilitate access to care beyond traditional healthcare settings. These services feature home-based risk assessment and monitoring tools through Quest HealthConnect and coaching for chronic conditions through Pack Health, which Quest Diagnostics acquired in January 2022. It also includes services provided by Quest Healthcare Analytics, which utilizes the company’s database of 60 billion laboratory test results to help identify and engage at-risk members for health plans to close screening gaps and improve care quality and outcomes.
With training developed by IRIS, designated personnel at Quest patient service centers will transmit a patient’s retinal image to a credentialed, licensed ophthalmologist to interpret the images. The IRIS Program returns a diagnostic and patient report to Quest HealthConnect. The results are also transmitted to the health plan as well as the patient’s primary care physician or eye specialist for follow-up diagnosis and care.
“Limited access to important screenings has allowed the undetected, sight-threatening progression of diabetic retinopathy to grow,” said Christopher Grant, Vice President & General Manager, Quest HealthConnect. “Through this collaboration with IRIS, we can now provide a new opportunity to help prevent sight loss. Leveraging our network of patient service centers will increase access to screenings for many, ultimately leading to better health outcomes.”
“IRIS is thrilled to be joined by Quest Diagnostics, the nation’s leading provider of diagnostic information services, to help mitigate preventable blindness,” said Steve Martin, IRIS CEO. “Through this expanded care network, it will make it much easier to reach the estimated 60% of people with diabetes that are currently skipping their annual diabetic retinopathy check.iv”
Diabetic retinopathy is caused by damage to the blood vessels in the retina and can lead to vision loss or blindness in diabetics. Early detection and treatment of diabetic retinopathy is crucial to slowing disease progression and preventing patients from losing their eyesight.
YPrime Acquires Tryl, a Patient Engagement Solutions Company, Adding More Capabilities to Support Decentralized Clinical Trials
Malvern, PA, February 8, 2022 – YPrime, LLC, a global leader in cloud-based eClinical solutions, announced today the strategic acquisition of Tryl, a software development company with a unique patient engagement solution that brings together beautiful design, dynamic personalization, and applied behavioral science that is designed to boost engagement, reduce dropouts, and deliver outcomes in clinical trials. The acquisition includes the transfer of all staff, development capabilities, and intellectual properties to YPrime, and will integrate with YPrime’s Patient Engagement Technologies solutions.
“YPrime’s major priority has always been to anticipate the needs of tomorrow’s clinical trials and create powerful eClinical tools that simplify the lives of sponsors, sites, and patients,” says Shawn Blackburn, CEO, YPrime. “This combination with Tryl helps us leap ahead in fulfilling our vision of creating the industry’s first-of-its-kind solution to help keep patients more informed and engaged throughout the entire clinical trial process, especially as our industry accelerates toward decentralized clinical trial models.”
“An ever-increasing focus on patient centricity demands an integrated approach to how patients are engaged,” says Ian Greenfield, CEO of Tryl. “This starts from the moment patients are recruited and continues throughout the entire patient journey. YPrime has a strong vision for the future and by bringing together offerings from our two companies, we can create a novel solution that takes head on the most pressing challenges associated with attracting, engaging, and retaining patients.”
Tryl’s tools provide an experience that is personalized, predictive, empathetic, and relative to the overall patient journey. Tryl’s proprietary engagement score is designed to reduce patient dropout rates. Rooted in consumer experience, the Tryl team applies proven behavioral principles from other industries (such as professional sports and consumer finance) to seek to improve patient adherence to study protocols.
Mark Maietta, President, YPrime expressed his enthusiasm, “The addition of the Tryl team and their innovative solutions will boost patient compliance and reduce attrition, and the timing is perfect. YPrime has built an enviable market position with its strong eCOA and IRT capabilities. Now we can seamlessly layer on complementary solutions to our innovative technology stack for running successful decentralized trials.”
Tryl applies a consumer-grade UX and proven behavioral techniques like design thinking, empathy, and social proof, to increase study compliance and guide participants through complex protocols. Predictive analytics prompt clinicians to step in before subjects drop out. This approach minimizes participants’ burden while maximizing value for sponsors and researchers.
By: Jay Cridlin – Tampa Bay Times
A business that’s spent more than 15 years growing in and around Tampa’s music scene has raked in $37 million in its latest round of fundraising.
Symphonic Distribution, a music distribution and streaming-focused tech firm based in downtown Tampa, closed its Series B round in late 2021, with Philadelphia’s NewSpring Capital leading the way. Tampa’s Ballast Point Ventures, which led the company’s $4 million Series A fundraising in 2017, also participated.
“We just felt like there’s so much capital out there that now would be a good time to explore some opportunities,” Symphonic CEO Jorge Brea said. “Thankfully that worked out.”
In a statement, NewSpring partner Brian Kim said Symphonic’s technology “offers independent artists the tools needed to supercharge their careers and expand their reach.
“We’ve been impressed for a long time with what Jorge and the team are building at Symphonic,” Kim said, “everything from their patented technology to their incessant focus on putting the independent artist first.”
Brea founded Symphonic in Wesley Chapel in 2006, working with independent artists both local and national to get their music onto streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music, as well as distributing it through more traditional, physical means. The company sponsored local concerts in Tampa Bay and showcases at South By Southwest, among other ventures, and expanded to an office of nearly 30 in downtown Tampa. Today, the company has dozens of employees in New York, Nashville, Los Angeles, South America, Europe and Africa.
Even as parts of the music industry shut down during the pandemic, there was still “a lot of excitement and interest in this space,” Brea said, with publishing companies shelling out huge sums for music rights, and firms making hefty investments in Symphonic competitors like DistroKid and United Masters.
“There’s a good runway for the music industry to keep going,” he said.
With the $37 million investment, Brea plans to hire, doubling his technology staff to 20 or even 30, and adding A&R representatives to work the music side of the business. Symphonic might explore acquisitions of complementary companies in Europe to expand its footprint in the music-tech space.
The company is also keeping an eye on the nascent NFT world and what blockchain technologies could mean for the world of music distribution.
“For us, we’re not looking to build a marketplace, but rather work with key artists, maybe ones that have a certain level of traction, to partner up with various exchanges and just help coordinate drops and market them,” Brea said. “We’re wanting to keep an open mind and be able to work with many artists, but be selective in the process, as well as work with many exchanges, just because there’s so many of them now.”
Before the pandemic, Symphonic had looked at expanding its downtown Tampa footprint. Those plans have scaled back as the company has adopted more of a hybrid work model. But with this latest infusion of out-of-state capital, they have all sorts of options.
“I’ve loved Tampa ever since I moved here in ‘92,” Brea said, “and just to be a part of this city and be able to help put more business eyes on it as well is a very, very awesome thing.”
By: Lauren Coffey
Tampa Bay Business Journal
Tampa-based investment firm Ballast Point Ventures has closed its latest fund with $190 million in commitments.
The firm’s initial goal for its fourth fund was $165 million, which it closed in January 2021. But interest from investors, both old and new alike, continued to climb.
Institutional investors, family offices and about 50 entrepreneurs participated in the fourth fund, with roughly 100 total investors.
An oversubscribed fund is not particularly unique for Ballast Point, which oversubscribed nearly $25 million in its third fund in 2015. Partner Drew Graham said anything below $200 million is “key” to sticking to the company’s strategy. That strategy means investing in three to four companies per year, with investments that run between $5 million to $15 million.
It’s a strategy that helps Ballast Point stand out, according to partner Paul Johan.
“The companies that aren’t ready for a $15 million to $20 million round can be in a position for a $5 million check, and we don’t have to pressure them to take more capital,” Johan said. “A lot in the region we don’t see competing in that size, the $5 million to $8 million [rounds]. It’s where we’ve been the last five years, and it’s positioned us well.”
Ballast Point was founded in 2001 and has partnered with over 50 companies across its four funds. It invests in companies across the Southeast. The firm primarily focuses on technology and health care, which have seen upticks during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have companies that were largely impacted [by Covid-19], mainly on the health care side,” said Matt Rice, a partner at Ballast Point who leads the health care practice. “The good thing about having a diversified portfolio, a big chunk is software and technology — which benefitted during the pandemic. … Like a lot of entrepreneurs, we also had to adapt in order to get to a successful outcome.”
Rice added remote patient care is a trend Ballast Point is following. Partner Robert Faber, who focuses on technology, said he has some trends to focus on with the new fund.
“We’re big believers in data to make decisions; we spend a lot of time in cybersecurity,” Faber said. “Any business-to-business tool which simplifies and takes the frustration out of the process.”
Ballast Point has already begun deploying capital from its fourth fund, investing in four Florida companies over the last year:
- March: Led an $8 million Series A in Bradenton-based Pacemate
- May: Participated in a recapitalization for Lutz-based Suncoast Skin Solutions
- September: Led a $5 million Series B in Santa Rosa Beach-based Key Data
- December: Invested in a $37 million Series B for Tampa-based Symphonic Distribution
“All four being in Florida is huge for us,” Partner Sean Barkman said. “And hopefully, we’ll end up with a majority of companies in Florida in this next fund.”
Leading Music Technology Platform and Distributor Symphonic Raises $37M, Led by NewSpring and Ballast Point Ventures
January 4, 2022 – Starting the new year off on a high note, leading independent music distributor and technology platform Symphonic Distribution announces that it has received a $37M Series B investment. Led by NewSpring and Ballast Point Ventures, the new investment comes on the heels of funding announcements by other industry participants, further solidifying investor interest in music technology and distribution.
The financial milestone follows a string of exciting announcements for Symphonic, including partnerships with TIDAL and Joyner Lucas’s music start-up, Tully, as well as expansions into Africa and Mexico. Headquartered in Florida and with international presence in Africa, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Spain and more, Symphonic remains a 100% independent distribution and music technology company that continues to work with some of today’s most unique and innovative artists.
Given its Tampa location, Ballast Point Ventures has worked closely with the team at Symphonic since its Series A investment in 2017.
“Watching Jorge and Taylor scale a homegrown Tampa technology company in the fast-growing music industry has been very impressive. We are excited to continue as their partner for this next leg of growth, and we are further excited to welcome NewSpring to the investor group as Symphonic prepares for its future growth.” – Robert Faber, Partner, Ballast Point Ventures
NewSpring Growth, NewSpring’s dedicated growth and expansion strategy, partners with industry-transforming, fast-growing companies with talented, innovative management teams to support their growth, and Symphonic represents exactly the type of company the strategy targets for investment.
“As the global trend toward streaming continues to guide the future of the music industry, Symphonic’s distribution platform offers independent artists the tools needed to supercharge their careers and expand their reach. We’ve been impressed for a long time with what Jorge and the team are building at Symphonic, everything from their patented technology to their incessant focus on putting the independent artist first. We look forward to working closely with Jorge and Ballast Point Ventures to broaden its offering and help Symphonic reach even higher levels of growth.” – Brian Kim, Partner, NewSpring
Founded in 2006 by music producer Jorge Brea, Symphonic provides global digital music and video distribution through a comprehensive and best-in-class technology platform, marketing planning and strategy, including playlist support, and a comprehensive suite of services for artists, record labels, managers, and distributors. Symphonic has worked with clients such as Surf Mesa, Stick Figure, CloZee, Laura Marano, Rachel Bradshaw, El Alfa, Juan Luis Guerra, Pi’erre Bourne, DJ Nu-Mark, Doechii, Nick Murphy aka Chet Faker, and La Ross Maria among many others across a wide variety of genres worldwide.
“On behalf of all of the team members of Symphonic, I can’t put into words how excited we are about the next chapter. The partnership with NewSpring, along with our existing investor, Ballast Point Ventures, will help position Symphonic as a strong market leader in independent music technology, services and distribution. This investment will enable us to invest more in our clients, our technology platform, strategic initiatives, intellectual property and other acquisitions.” – Jorge Brea, CEO, Symphonic
NewSpring partners with the innovators, makers, and operators of high-performing companies in dynamic industries to catalyze new growth and seize compelling opportunities. The Firm manages approximately $2.5 billion across five distinct strategies covering the spectrum from growth equity and control buyouts to mezzanine debt. Having invested in over 175 companies, NewSpring brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and resources to take growing companies to the next level and beyond. Partnering with management teams to help develop their businesses into market leaders, NewSpring identifies opportunities and builds relationships using its network of industry leaders and influencers across a wide array of operational areas and industries. To learn more, visit www.newspringcapital.com.
About Ballast Point Ventures
Ballast Point Ventures (“BPV”), headquartered in Tampa, Florida, is a later-stage venture capital and growth equity fund founded in 2002 to provide expansion capital for rapidly growing, privately owned companies, with a particular emphasis on companies located in Florida, the Southeast and Texas. The BPV partners have more than 80 years of combined experience investing in and building high-growth companies in several industries, including software, technology-enabled business services, and healthcare. Ballast Point Ventures has over $500 million under management across four Funds and seeks to make initial equity investments ranging in size from $5 million to $15 million. For additional information, visit www.ballastpointventures.com.