A Health Care Giant’s Plan to Outlast Venture Capital

To date, there hasn’t been a huge string of hits from Silicon Valley’s top venture firms in digital health. That’s partly because the typical venture capitalist has a five to 10 year investing time horizon. But getting new technology adopted in places like hospitals requires thousands upon thousands of employees to change their behavior, which can take longer than that.

That’s one of the key reasons that Tom Rodgers thinks the $250 million venture fund he oversees has an advantage in digital health. It’s the venture arm of McKesson Corp., a $179-billion-a-year pharmaceutical wholesaler and a major maker of software for doctors and hospitals. Because McKesson has decent visibility into what its customers will buy over the next few years, Mr. Rodgers can afford to invest with a much longer time horizon than the typical venture capitalist.

No subscription? You’re missing out.
Join the high-powered community of tech and business leaders who rely on The Information’s original news and in-depth reporting.
Subscribe to read the remaining 1152 words of this article.
What’s included in a subscription?
Read The Information’s original, in-depth reporting and analysis
Receive as-they-happen articles via email
Talk with award-winning reporters in subscriber-only conference calls
Join the conversation on our subscriber-only Slack channel
Attend intimate, high-powered events with leaders in tech and business
Subscribe to The Information

“You’re seeing [customer-relationship software] just getting started in health care,” Mr. Rodgers. While Salesforce, IBM or others “are a threat in that they’re a big company that could take a slice of the pie in health care, in this case it’s a new slice.”

Roy Bahat commented on this article.
Read comments from top tech and industry leaders
Evan Spiegel
Evan Spiegel
CEO, Snapchat
Chamath Palihapitiya
Chamath Palihapitiya
Founder & Managing Partner, SocialCapital
Marc Andreessen
Marc Andreessen
Co-Founder, Andreessen Horowitz
Jonah Peretti
Jonah Peretti
CEO, Buzzfeed
Adam D'Angelo
Adam D'Angelo
CEO, Quora
Brit Morin
Brit Morin
Founder & CEO, Brit + CO
Dustin Moskovitz
Dustin Moskovitz
Co-Founder, Asana
Christina Miller
Christina Miller
President & General Manager, Turner
Max Levchin
Max Levchin
CEO, Affirm
Adam Mosseri
Adam Mosseri
Director of Product, Facebook
Alex Mather
Alex Mather
The Athletic
Martha Josephson
Martha Josephson
Partner, Egon Zehnder
James Murdoch
James Murdoch
Co-Chief Operating Officer, 21st Century Fox
Andrew Kortina
Andrew Kortina
Founder, Venmo
Ben Chestnut
Ben Chestnut
Co-Founder & CEO, Mailchimp
Ruchi Sanghvi
Ruchi Sanghvi
VP Operations, Dropbox
Login or Subscribe to follow the discussions happening here and real-time in our   Slack Community.
Any time you make an investment, you’re hoping there’s a base case that you can get an exit in three to five years, even when in reality you know that most healthcare companies don’t exit for 10 to 12 years.