Vancouver-based PHEMI, a data mining company that has focused on the medical sector, announced on Tuesday that it had completed a $12.2 million Series A funding round. The round is 400% larger than its seed round in March 2014, which brought in about $2.8 million. Primary investors include CTI Life Sciences Fund, British Columbia Discovery Fund (Discovery Capital), BDC Capital Healthcare Venture Fund, and Yaletown Venture Partners.
The presence of BDC is indicative of the data company’s launch as a healthtech company. PHEMI originally proposed to make the collection of health data easier for population health management and clinical studies information gathering. “What we’re offering now, essentially, is the ability to turn virtually any piece of patient information – physician letters, lab results, imaging, medication, previous treatment plans – into searchable information, thereby unlocking vast amounts of new data,” CEO Dr. Paul Terry said last year after their seed round.
PHEMI also ensures that data remains private, making it particularly vital to the health industry. The company prides itself on protecting privacy and “ensures legitimate use of data to drive continuous improvement and help organizations meet compliance and governance requirements,” according to its website.
But now, the company is expanding into other industries like insurance, the public sector, and finance. Now that PHEMI has found a way to pool and organize different forms of medical information, from images to patient histories to prescriptions, it has decided to apply these solutions to other trades.
“The big data market represents a tremendous growth opportunity for PHEMI in a variety of industries,” said Discovery Capital’s CMA Charles Cook, who added that privacy is not an issue exclusive to health, nor needing to analyze mass quantities of data quickly.
Big data healthcare startups on the rise
Considering how popular big data startups are, it is not surprising that big data healthcare startups are also seeing increasing investment. The sector saw the same financing in the first half of 2014 as it did for all of 2013. PHEMI’s direct competitors Lumiata, which organizes medical idea to optimize healthcare interactions, and Trinity Pharma Solutions (now called SHYFT), which helps life sciences companies analyze clinical and commercial data, are both at similar stages of financing, though Lumiata was founded in 2013 and Trinity in 2004.
Two-year-old PHEMI is the brainchild of cardiologists Chris Thompson and Alan Rabinowitz, who teamed with initial investors Dr. Paul Terry, Adam Lorant and John Seminerio to get the startup off the ground. Perhaps PHEMI’s pivot into other fields will help the company grow beyond what it can achieve in the medical big data market.
Featured Image Credit: PHEMI