Sean Lane's IT healthcare company has a new name—and a new round of venture capital.
Sean Lane knew he needed to change the name of his company after customers started calling him the “Olive guy.” Says Lane: “Whether we wanted to or not, we were Olive.”
In late July, Lane's IT healthcare company, CrossChx, officially changed its name to Olive. The new identity also coincided with the announcement of the six-year-old company's latest round of venture capital: a $32.8 million investment from Oak HC/FT (a $1.1 billion Greenwich, Connecticut-based fund that specializes in healthcare IT and financial services technology sectors) and Ascension Ventures (an $800 million fund launched by Ascension, the nation's largest Catholic and nonprofit health system). In total, Olive has raised more than $70 million in venture capital since launching, including previous investments from Silicon Valley stalwarts Khosla Ventures and SVB Capital and Drive Capital, the $550 million Short North-based fund led by Mark Kvamme, who persuaded Lane to relocate his startup to central Ohio from Baltimore in 2013.
Lane says the new investment validates his audacious 2017 reinvention of his company (documented in a February 2018 Columbus CEO cover story), a risky pivot that resulted in Olive, a bot that uses artificial intelligence to complete menial administrative healthcare tasks, such insurance eligibility checks, prior authorizations and appointment reminders.
As the company abandoned its previous products to focus completely on Olive, the CrossChx name grew increasingly out of date—it referred to the company's original product, which used biometrics to link fingerprints to medical records. Yet Lane says he was worried about losing all the brand equity the CrossChx name had earned over the past six years and confusing customers—until he realized Olive was building its own name recognition. “It was actually causing more confusion by holding onto CrossChx than it would be to just go to Olive completely,” says Lane, CEO and co-founder of the company.
Olive is using the new investment to expand its sales and engineering teams. It expects to add about 50 staffers to its current roster of about 90 by the end of the year and likely double its workforce by August of 2019, Lane says. The company is also likely to outgrow its current location in Downtown Columbus and has put out a request for proposals for a new office, Lane says.