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Within3 raises $100M for new health care communication platform

Within3 CEO Lance Hill joins Yahoo Finance’s Zack Guzman and Anjalee Khemlani to discuss the latest on the life science company as it looks to expand globally amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Video Transcript

ZACK GUZMAN: I want to focus in on some opportunities in health care as the pandemic has made that a focus for investors. And one new startup here, I don't know if it's a startup, we'll get into that in a second, but one new company out there just raised $100 million here to focus in on the opportunity in that space.

Within3, a software-as-a-service company that enables clients to have secure discussions, inviting specific audiences here to focus on a lot of the issues that pharmaceutical companies are focusing in on right now, including COVID-19 vaccine trials. The company already works with 20 of the top pharmaceutical companies and has users in more than 150 countries. And joining us now to discuss that opportunity and the growth there at Within3 is the CEO of the company Lance Hill, along with Yahoo Finance's Anjalee Khemlani.

And Lance, thanks for coming on here, and congrats on the raise. I guess just to explain it in context, maybe one of the problems a lot of people are focused in on right now and how you guys solve in that problem, talk to me about how maybe some of these pharma companies working on COVID-19 vaccines would use your platform to help get things done.

LANCE HILL: Sure. Yeah. As you can imagine with COVID, it's just an unprecedented set of stakeholders, from physicians to policymakers to payers to scientists to economists, all working together all the time trying to accelerate vaccines to market at a speed that is really unheard of in the industry. And that creates a very difficult communication challenge to coordinate all of those stakeholders, all that information, and make decisions along the way. And what we do as a company is allow our clients to do all of that much, much more effectively and much faster.

And even beyond the vaccine side of it, you know, another aspect of it that is not always obvious is, let's say you have a chronic illness or a condition, and now COVID has hit, and it's affected your ability to get care, to receive treatments in the way that you're used to. So life science firms all around the world are having all sorts of discussions trying to figure out, in the reality of the new pandemic, how can they better serve patients. And our platform is being used very heavily around the world and for that as well. I think at this point we have over 80 different COVID-specific programs running on Within3 among our global client base.

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: And Lance, I know that one of the things that has become really prominent is the general public now being really aware of preprint servers and the information that comes from that. I'm sure that's a key part of what your company provides. But this is coming, you know, at a really, an unprecedented time when you talk about digital health services and the market interest in that. Do you feel like there's just a lot more attention on this solely because of COVID? And what's the long-term sort of, you know, outlook for the company just based on that alone?

LANCE HILL: Sure. Yeah. No, that's a great question. You know, so as a communications company, and a virtual communications company at that, COVID has certainly been an accelerant. For us, we were already growing year-over-year. We were up triple digits in Q1 before any travel restrictions from COVID ever hit. So our business was really accelerated off of a really fast-moving target already.

What COVID's done, and not just for life sciences, but I think for health care maybe industries more broadly, is forced organizations to look at, how can I adopt virtual means of collaborating and communicating and really pull that forward? And the good news for our company and what we do is because the results are so-- are so good, we expect that even in a post-COVID world, whenever that may be, and hopefully sooner rather than later, we'll continue to see the acceleration that we've been seeing.

ZACK GUZMAN: And on that front, I mean, you guys obviously raised $100 million here, Insight Partners leading the round. But that's much more than what you've raised in the last-- well, from 2008 to 2012, you guys raised $20 million, so a huge step up here. What do you plan to use that money towards, because I know that there are some big competitors out there? You know, when we talk about compliance, even Google HIPAA compliant in doing a lot of things that you guys do. So how do you plan to put those funds to use?

LANCE HILL: Yeah, it's really on innovation and scale, and that was really our goal in doing this round. Today, we-- our platform-- and what we're really doing is looking at specific processes inside of life sciences that are slow, cumbersome, redundant, and building tech to address those and make them much more efficient.

And today, we support over 60 different business processes in our clients around the world. We clearly see the next 60. And part of this funding is going to allow us to innovate to go after more places that are kind of locked inside of life sciences where there's just a lot of unnecessary delay and waste. So that's one part of it.

The second part of it for us is we are a global company. And so while we're based in the US, our clients tend to be global. Their operations tend to be global. And we have staff today in Latin America, and Europe, and Asia, and the US, but we see a great opportunity to really expand our sales and marketing, capture the market-- the marketplace in front of us.