Excited to announce our seed investment alongside Healthy.vc, Refactor Capital and Esther Dyson in Iaso.ai which helps reduce variability and increase quality of telehealth consultations. Tau Ventures is an AI-first fund in Silicon Valley investing primarily in mature seed, typically when there is a pipeline of customers, but we occasionally take earlier or later bets when we see immense promise. Iaso falls on that first exception, having been just founded in 2021, but impressing us with (1) addressing a strong need, (2) building an execution-focused team, and (3) creating a differentiated product.
1) The Need
Telehealth was already significant before 2020 but we see it has permanently catapulted into new heights. For instance, a UCSF study found virtual doctor visits went from 7-18% in Jan 2020 to 54-72% in Mar 2020 i.e., 3 months into the pandemic. Some of this will probably decline pos-pandemic but we firmly believe telehealth adoption will remain much higher than pre-pandemic, which will necessitate many other tools to improve doctor / doctor and doctor / patient communication. Existing platforms from Teladoc (focused specifically on medicine) to Zoom (focused generally on enterprise) haven’t built enough functionality to support this brave new world where patients communicate with their doctors primarily virtually. Providers today already get significant help in their bedside manners, Iaso does the same for their virtual presence.
2) The Team
CEO Ty Vachon was previously 2 years in various startup advisory roles, 16 years in the Navy and 4 years as teacher. He did his MD at the Uniformed Services University, military medical school, and BS in Kinesiology at USC. His career was punctuated by stints in places as diverse as Okinawa and Manaus. CTO Artur Ergashev was previously an engineer for 10+ years in companies like SunRun, DocBookMD and MapMyFitness, holding a BS in Biology from the Univ of Colorado Denver. These two cofounders showed us the pipeline of their conversations and how they are closing contracts much quicker than the average 9-month sales cycle in healthcare. Ty and Artur are actively recruiting, especially for engineering, and anyone interested should reach out to them.
3) The Product
Iaso is using computer vision to give feedback to medical professionals as they communicate on video. We do worry about some backlash as medical professionals think Iaso will be akin to monitoring. But we do hope our view will prevail, that a tool like Iaso can help doctors take better care of patients and reduce liability including the risk of lawsuits. The company has a functional prototype and is continuously incorporating customer feedback. Below is the vision of the MVP and how they believe the data will be used by providers to give feedback to the medical professional.
We are honored and excited to be part of Iaso’s journey, using technology to solve a big problem. More at http://iaso.ai.
Originally published on “DataDrivenInvestor,” am happy to syndicate on other platforms. I am the Managing Partner and Cofounder of Tau Ventures with 20 years in Silicon Valley across corporates, own startup, and VC funds. These are purposely short articles focused on practical insights (I call it gl;dr — good length; did read). Many of my writings are at https://www.linkedin.com/in/amgarg/detail/recent-activity/posts and I would be stoked if they get people interested enough in a topic to explore in further depth. If this article had useful insights for you comment away and/or give a like on the article and on the Tau Ventures’ LinkedIn page, with due thanks for supporting our work. All opinions expressed here are my own.