New Health Insurance Startup is Co-Founded by Industry Veterans, Including Former CEO of UnitedHealthcare; Bright Health to Enter its First Market for 2017 Plan Year


New health insurance startup Bright Health today announced it has secured $80 million in Series A funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners and New Enterprise Associates (NEA), with participation by Flare Capital Partners and others. Bright Health will use the funding to support its nationwide rollout to the individual health insurance marketplace.

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Bright Health co-founders, from left to right: Bob Sheehy, CEO; Tom Valdivia, Chief Medical Officer; ...

Bright Health co-founders, from left to right: Bob Sheehy, CEO; Tom Valdivia, Chief Medical Officer; and Kyle Rolfing, President (Photo: Business Wire)

Bright Health delivers a smarter, more connected healthcare experience. The company starts by developing a single, exclusive partnership in each market with a leading health system. This partnership enables Bright Health to support stronger relationships between consumers and care providers. Bright Health offers affordable health plans, a simpler, more integrated technology experience, and provides health systems compelling economic rewards for practicing efficient, high-quality healthcare.

“There’s a better way to better health,” said Bob Sheehy, co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Bright Health. “We are realigning the broken payer-provider relationship, focusing on the consumer and reimagining how technology can simplify the healthcare experience from beginning-to-end. Making that happen and starting a new health plan is no small feat, but we’re confident we have the right team and model to create real and necessary change.”

Bright Health plans to enter its first market and enroll members for the 2017 plan year. The company’s individual health insurance plans will be offered directly to consumers, via broker partners, and through public and private health insurance exchanges. Additional market expansion, care provider partnerships and Medicare Advantage Plans are planned for 2018 and beyond.

A Leadership Team + Investment Partners Built to Succeed

Bright Health co-founders include Bob Sheehy, former CEO of UnitedHealthcare; Kyle Rolfing, co-founder and former CEO of Definity Health and RedBrick Health; and Tom Valdivia, MD, MS, former chief health consumer officer of Definity Health, serial entrepreneur and health informaticist. Sheehy is Bright Health’s CEO; Rolfing is the company’s president; and Valdivia is its chief medical officer. Together and separately, this team has founded and led numerous successful companies created specifically to advance health and technology experiences for consumers and healthcare providers.

“We have invested in healthcare for more than 30 years and never before has the health insurance sector been so ripe for disruption,” said Stephen Kraus, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners and leader of the firm’s healthcare investment activities. “After spending lots of time looking at new entrants, we are convinced the Bright Health team is the most experienced and has the best vision for leading this change.”

“Bright Health’s model is unique in that it gets everyone to work together instead of against each other,” said Mohamad Makhzoumi, partner and head of healthcare services at NEA. “It’s clear that Bright Health’s differentiated approach and technology will help drive down costs, improve clinical outcomes, and create greater satisfaction for both members and providers in an industry screaming for help.”

Flare Capital Partners provided initial seed capital and support to Bright Health during the company’s formation; the firm also participated in the Series A funding round. “We have partnered with Bright Health from the beginning, and there’s no doubt the company’s seasoned leadership team and business model have it poised for success,” said Bill Geary, general partner at Flare Capital Partners.

Bright Health will provide more information about its first market, first care provider partner, technology experience and benefit plans in the near future.

About Bright Health

Bright Health delivers a smarter, more connected healthcare experience. The company’s exclusive partnerships with leading health systems, affordable health insurance plans, and simple, friendly approach to technology are reshaping how people and physicians achieve better health together. Learn more at

About Bessemer Venture Partners

Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP) invests in early-stage, hyper-growth startups, partnering closely with entrepreneurs to build durable businesses. BVP is a global firm with offices in Menlo Park, Cambridge, New York, Bangalore and Herzliya. With $4 billion under management, BVP invests anywhere from $100,000 to $75 million in innovative companies like Pinterest, Twilio, Box, LinkedIn, Shopify, Yelp, Skype and CornerstoneOnDemand. Over 100 BVP companies have gone public. Learn more at

About New Enterprise Associates

New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA) is a global venture capital firm focused on helping entrepreneurs build transformational businesses across multiple stages, sectors and geographies. With nearly $17 billion in cumulative committed capital since inception, NEA invests in technology and healthcare companies at all stages in a company’s lifecycle, from seed stage through IPO. The firm’s long track record of successful investing includes more than 200 portfolio company IPOs and more than 320 acquisitions. Learn more at

About Flare Capital Partners

Flare Capital is a team of proven healthcare technology venture capital investors known for their unparalleled strategic industry resources, insight and total commitment to the success of its entrepreneurs. Flare Capital raised one of the industry’s largest dedicated venture capital funds focused exclusively on early stage and emerging growth investments in healthcare technology innovation and is privileged to closely partner with founders and management. Learn more at

Haberman (for Bright Health)
Renee Rice, 612-372-6472
Kim Wildermuth, 612-372-6464
For Bessemer Venture Partners
Tiffany Spencer, 650-853-7000
Ashley Mitchell, 650-687-1532
For Flare Capital Partners
Kristen Laguerre, 617-607-5054

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