CRV Partner Kristin Baker Spohn On Health Tech

by brunchwork

Kristin Baker Spohn is a Partner at CRV, one of the nation’s oldest and most successful early-stage venture capital firms. CRV has worked with fast-growing enterprise tech companies such as Airtable, Drift, Iterable, SignalFx, Signal Sciences, Kong, Postman, and others. The CRV team has seen considerable success over the years, from H&R Block’s recent acquisition of Wave Accounting, to IPOs and acquisitions with Zendesk, Hubspot, Yammer, RPX, and others.

Prior to CRV, Kristin was a Partner at Social Capital and has been an active angel investor. Her investments at CRV include Wheel and, both digital health startups.

Kristin led a recent brunchwork workshop, and shared four insights into how to succeed in the health tech industry.

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    1. The main question in health tech is “Why Now?” Health tech has been a lagging industry compared to enterprise tech and fintech. COVID has created an opportunity to break through the ‘sclerotic’ stagnation of the industry.

    Some companies that were struggling for adoption experienced a flip where the market is now pulling them in.

    The growth trajectory of health tech has shifted from what was believed to be possible in 3-10 years and is now being realized in 3-10 weeks.

    2. Address ALL stakeholders: the purchaser, the patient, the payer, and the hospital. ALL four must be aligned.

    Key stakeholders in healthcare are not the same as consumer-focused businesses. Does your team, product, and go-to-market strategy address all the key stakeholders in a particular adoption curve?

    3. Achieve both product-user fit and product-market fit. Attracting investors means more than just stating that the product should exist. There must be a consideration for the economic aspect and market demand.

    4. Hit a double whammy, if want venture scale:

    • B2B: Be both a great healthcare company and a great enterprise company.
    • B2C: Be both a great healthcare company and a great consumer company.

    A double whammy is only possible if you find the magic combination of capital, team, monetization, and product breakthrough.