Flatiron + Altos: Investing in Oncology

When Zach and I started Flatiron Health, we did so with a simple goal: we wanted to make a difference with our next company. Not that optimizing banner ads wasn’t making a difference, we were just burned out by that industry and wanted to do something that had direct implications on improving lives next time.  

Fast forward two years, we’re extremely lucky to now have 30 amazing colleagues (and growing) on the same mission to make a difference in the fight against cancer, using software. We call it “software as a drug” (we weren’t smart enough to coin that, however). We are also lucky to work with some of the nation’s finest cancer centers, both large and small, and it’s been a privilege to learn the ropes of healthcare and oncology from them and many others.  And our advanced analytics system for oncology, OncoAnalytics, has been well-received in the market and has made huge strides in organizing patient data at scale to make it usable and actionable.

Now we’re looking to take things to the next level. A few months ago, we met the incredible team at Altos Solutions. John Willey and Keith Irwin, the two founders, and Carla Wood Balch, their President, as well as the rest of the team have methodically built an amazing company over the past ten years. Their oncology-specific electronic medical record (EMR) system is used by over 1,300 oncology clinicians every day to diagnose, treat and manage patients battling cancer. And being an engineering-driven company, they wisely architected the system from the beginning to be browser-based (was “cloud” anything other than something in the sky back then?). It was abundantly clear after spending time with them that the combination of Flatiron and Altos would be game-changing for cancer care.  Bringing smart data capture and patient engagement together with advanced analytics is a powerful combination that can have huge implications for patient care and research. And importantly, the cultures of the two companies could not have been a better match.

So, after much hard work by both teams, Zach and I are proud to announce that Flatiron has agreed to acquire Altos Solutions. We anticipate finalizing the transaction by the end of the month. We also announced that Google Ventures has led a $130MM Series B financing in our company.  With the additional capital, we’re well positioned to make the right investments in order to see this vision through together and deliver a world-class software platform to oncologists, life science companies, and patients. We’re also super excited that Andy Conrad from Google[x] will be joining our board, being one of the first people we met when we became interested in healthcare over two years ago.

I’d like to give a huge shoutout to our amazing team, especially those who stopped everything they were doing to make this deal happen. I’d also like to officially welcome the entire Altos family to Flatiron, we’re so excited to work with you all and make this vision a reality.  And a huge thanks to Google Ventures and the rest of our investors for believing in us and the team. And last but not least, a big shoutout to Brennan Simkins who helped inspire Flatiron by battling and surviving cancer.

Onward and upward.

Nat & Zach