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Health-services giant McKesson said today that it’s starting a new venture capital fund — McKesson Ventures — that will invest in early-stage and growth-stage companies addressing business challenges in the health care industry.

Tom Rodgers runs the fund. He was recruited for the job from Cambia Health. Rodgers managed Cambia’s venture investments in health data companies.

Rodgers says McKesson is the sole contributor to the fund, which intends to invest in as many as 25 companies in the next two to three years.

McKesson Ventures has already made an investment in one company, but it isn’t ready to publicly discuss the terms of the deal. It plans on investing “several hundred million” in startups over the long-term, a spokesperson told VentureBeat.

“The fund will target companies that are both enabling and benefitting from the disruptive changes affecting the industry,” McKesson says in a statement. “These changes include increasing consumerism, emergence of alternate delivery models, and the shift toward value-based reimbursement models.”

The new fund focuses its investments on four main areas:

  • Technology that enables direct-to-consumer health products and services.
  • Alternative health care delivery models that help people access care and improve outcomes, quality, and costs.
  • Technology that helps employers control workers’ health care costs by changing behaviors and reducing doctor and hospital visits.
  • Startups working to build health data pipes, workflow systems, and analytics platforms.

San Francisco-based McKesson says it’s not seeking companies that would fill gaps in its existing health information systems, medical supplies, and pharmaceuticals businesses. Rather, the fund will make minority investments in spaces where McKesson doesn’t play, and these will probably include business-to-consumer companies.

“We are very much strategic in the sense that we will be very careful about who we choose to invest in, but once we’ve made the investment we will be just like any other investment firm,” Rodgers told VentureBeat today. “We will be working closely with the company’s management team and trying to make as big a financial return on our investment as possible.”

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