Immersive Labs Raises $40 Million for Cyber Skills Platform

Immersive Labs Raises $40 Million for Cyber Skills Platform

Immersive Labs, a company that provides an interactive and gamified cyber skills development platform, has raised $40 million in a series B funding round.

The funding round, which brings the total raised by the firm to $48 million, was led by Summit Partners, with participation from Goldman Sachs. Immersive Labs says it plans on using the money to further improve its platform and expand in North America.

The company was founded by a former employee of the UK’s GCHQ intelligence agency and it has offices in both Britain and the United States. Immersive Labs says its solutions are used by over 100 organizations worldwide, including government organizations in the UK, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and Bank of Montreal.

The company’s on-demand platform enables customers to continuously improve their cyber skills while making it easy for them to track progress. The solution can be used by both business users and security specialists to see how well they would handle a real-world threat or incident. It can be used to simulate a wide range of scenarios, from basics to malware analysis and threat hunting.

The Immersive Labs browser-based platform maps a customer’s capabilities to frameworks such as NIST NICE and MITRE ATT&CK, and helps them plan, report and predict risks. It can also be useful for discovering specific skill shortages.

“Gaps in cybersecurity knowledge meaningfully increase risk to an organization, creating vulnerability and presenting opportunity for attackers. The rapid, constantly evolving threat landscape has made traditional classroom training for cyber skills obsolete,” said James Hadley, CEO of Immersive Labs. “At a time when cyber skills are stretched across the board, the Immersive Labs platform enables companies to identify these weak points and rapidly skill people to address them.”

Related: Security Awareness Training Firm KnowBe4 Raises $300 Million

Related: Awareness Training Firm CybeReady Opens U.S. Office With $5 Million Funding

Related: Dataswift Raises $2 Million in Seed Funding to Revolutionize Personal Data Sharing

Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.


Source: Immersive Labs Raises $40 Million for Cyber Skills Platform

M&A: PE-Backed Guidehouse Acquires Navigant Consulting for $1.1B

M&A: PE-Backed Guidehouse Acquires Navigant Consulting for $1.1B

Guidehouse (formerly PwC’s US Public Sector business), a portfolio company of private equity firm Veritas Capital has acquired global management consulting firm Navigant Consulting, Inc. for approximately $1.1 billion. The newly combined entity will bring together each organization’s strong expertise in highly regulated industries across both the commercial and government sectors, with a focus on supporting client needs in the industries of Healthcare, Financial Services, Energy, National Security, and Aerospace & Defense.

Acquisition Benefits for Guidehouse

Formerly part of PwC, Guidehouse provides management, technology, and risk consulting to clients around the world through more than 1,600 professionals in over 20 locations. “The acquisition of Navigant is the next step in our journey to create the next generation global consultancy,” said Scott McIntyre, Chief Executive Officer of Guidehouse. “Navigant is an exceptionally strong management consulting and managed services firm with some of the best minds in Healthcare, Energy and Financial Services addressing the most complex commercial challenges their clients face. With complementary strengths in our focus areas, we will be strongly positioned to continue delivering innovative solutions to tackle some of the toughest challenges facing government and commercial clients, while building resilience into important missions and services. Bringing together best-in-class portfolios, highly-talented teams, and digital-first business models – we look forward to the merger and the journey to come.”

Financial Details of Acquisition

Under the terms of the agreement, Navigant shareholders will receive $28 in cash per share. The per-share purchase price represents a premium of 16% percent over the company’s closing stock price on August 1, 2019, the last trading day prior to today’s announcement, and 26% percent over the company’s 90-day volume-weighted average share price. The closing of this transaction, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions is expected to occur in the fourth quarter of this year.

Expanded Growth Opportunities & Expertise in Both Commercial and Public Sector Consulting

“Following a review of strategic alternatives, including soliciting offers from a diverse group of potential strategic and financial partners, Navigant’s Board unanimously agreed that a sale to Guidehouse is in the best interest of Navigant shareholders, delivering immediate and certain value at an attractive premium. The combination of Navigant and Guidehouse will create a powerful, global consulting organization characterized by deep industry expertise and leading technical know-how. Our companies are aligned with similar cultures and strong core values. Through the integration of our two firms, our employees will enjoy expanded growth opportunities, and our combined clients will access a wider array of expertise, tools, and technologies to help them achieve their goals,” said Julie Howard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Navigant.

The combined company will be led by Scott McIntyre, Chief Executive Officer of Guidehouse, and practice team leaders from both companies.

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Source: M&A: PE-Backed Guidehouse Acquires Navigant Consulting for $1.1B

UnityPoint Health Kickstarts Medical Business Venture Fund of $100M

UnityPoint Health Kickstarts Medical Business Venture Fund of $100M

West Des Moines, Iowa – With an estimated population of around 57,000, this West Des Moines, Iowa is the second largest city in its surrounding area, the tenth largest in all of Iowa and was ranked in Money magazine as number 94 in the list of “100 Best Cities to Live and Launch,” back in 2008.

Recently, UnityPoint Health of the very same West Des Moines, Iowa has caught the attention of many media outlets throughout the nation as a direct consequence of its recent announcement that they were preparing to institute a brand-new venture fund worth an approximate value of over 100 million U.S. dollars.

This highly ambitious declaration was made on 22 May 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana at a MedCity Invest Pop Health conference.

Prior to this bold statement, UnityPoint Health had been notoriously known for its chain of various different clinics, hospitals, in-home care, and other differing medical services that extended its way through the neighboring Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin area.

UnityPoint has been providing to a system of collegiate universities for nursing careers that include the likes of Allen College, Methodist College, St. Luke’s College, as well as Trinity College of Nursing and Health Sciences, all of which are based in Iowa, with the exception of the Methodist College being located in Illinois.

So, it comes as no surprise to see the organization leverage its loft revenue for such an innovative business deal that has the potential to create a dramatic impact in the medical field.

An Overview of the Medcity Invest Pop Health Conference:

During the Medcity Invest Pop Health Conference, news sources were able to take the time out to interview UnityPoint Health managing director Matthew Warrens.

During the discussion that ensued, Warrens made an emphasis on the screening process that his colleagues utilized to determine which startups they will work with, which was extremely thorough and extensive, to say the least.

According to Warren, there is a weekly meeting held at UnityPoint Health lead by a group of their most innovative individuals who are tasked with the heavy burden of deciding which companies they should invite to pitch their business proposals.

In addition to making this very specialized selection, the team also considers which members of their teams of experts should be present during the screening process.

While the vast majority of these individuals are mostly generalists in their respective fields, they often call on the council of the handful of experts within the organization when the occasion calls for a higher level of knowledge.

From there. Warren gave a detailed account of what a startup screening typically looks like.

Over the years, he has noticed a general pattern in which, in most cases, the startups that they interview generally always have an outstanding idea to pitch but are lacking in terms of believing that they have the capacity that they can scale the business up to size.

In addition, Warren says that on certain occasions, just the opposite is the case where the funding is there, but that the viable solution provided is not fully thorough, in which case he concluded that, “The magic moment is when they have both. It’s a ‘no’ much more often than a ‘yes’, but it’s rarely ‘never’”.

He wrapped up this summary by making it a point to illustrate that they scrutinized the screening process as closely as they would any of their technological products. He pointed out all the reasons for which UnityPoint Health doesn’t hire out companies based on a pilot contract. Warren concluded with the following statement that beautifully captures the main problem UnityPoint Health has in picking its potential partners.

“I’m always surprised how much time a startup spends describing what the problem is. We already know what the problems are, so tell me more about your innovative solution.”

The Innovative Venture Fund at a Glance:

In her article, Midwestern hospital network launches $100M venture fund, Erin Dietsche directly references the UnitedPoint Health website to provide a thorough review of what is being described as The Innovative Venture Fund. Accordingly, the founders behind the project are hoping to create easier collective solutions for the intended purpose of providing excellent personal care.

Under this overarching objective, UnityPoint Health is dedicated to supplying its clients with a more simple, efficient, and otherwise more personal experience, which they hope to achieve through a collaborative investment in an exchange between collaborators and ideas.

The Innovative Venture Fund plans on accomplishing this mighty feat by financing different startup organizations in their early stage developmental phases across a platform consisting of four primary areas which are that of healthcare services, digital health, therapeutic spaces, as well as supplying them with medical devices.

Some speculate that the investments of the fund could help shed light on CBD-focused companies, thereby establishing some of the health benefits of CBD.

Partnered with the likes of Health Catalyst, Health Velocity, and Heritage Group as indicated by their vast portfolio, UnityPoint Health adheres to a strict set of guidelines or a kind of philosophy for investments. The guidelines are based on the principles of coupling clinicians, operations leaders, and leading entrepreneurs in the respective communities in order to discover the most effective means possible for test and scale solutions in order to reduce the overall cost of quality healthcare.

It is following this rigid philosophy that has allowed UnityPoint Health to grow their portfolio of companies they partner with exponentially, while simultaneously providing them with ample grounds to boast their ability to identify or access the type of healthcare that people not only need but want, which is of the utmost significance to their organization.

The Men Behind the Fund:

The men responsible for leading the team at this Iowa based hospital are none other than Matthew Warren the Managing Director himself, who it is worth mentioning has a long history of similar experiences as the Vice President of Innovation Partnerships at OSF Healthcare.

In addition to Warren, the team also consists of Kent Lehr who acts as the Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at UnityPoint Health.

Lehr began his admirable career as an administration fellow at UnityPoint Health back in 2010 after a respectable collegiate run at Cornell University where he received a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, after which he then went on to obtain a master’s in both business and health administration. As the VP of Strategy and Business Development, Lehr is responsible for overseeing both the development and distribution of strategy, growth, innovation, and project management efforts.

As for Warren, he began his long career at Bradley University where he pursued their executive MBA program, after which, he went on to Southern Illinois University and obtained another prestigious degree in Healthcare Administration. With over twenty years of experience in the healthcare industry, Warren is passionately dedicated to a noble cause of transforming the healthcare industry into a kind of practical science committed to creating for a preventative culture for the intended purpose of improving individual’s quality of life.

Possible Implications of the Deal :

It is difficult to gauge exactly how much of an impact that his financial move will have in the medical field. However, it is safe to say that it will be large, which was a point that Dennis Depenbusch, director of BlueCross Blue Shield of Kansas’ New Ventures Initiative made as he concurred that, “[The fund] is huge for the impact that it will make on our citizens and rural America.” This statement was issued by Depenbusch right after the Medcity Invest Pop Health conference.

That being said, one might begin to assess the overall effect this fund will have when assessing a variety of factors such as that of how UnityPoint Health is already a leading titan in providing in-home care service across the nation as one of America’s most established integrated healthcare systems.

This move will only act to further develop a healthcare giant with a vast network of connections ranging from some 280 clinics, 30 plus hospitals, as well as differing in-home care services offered throughout nine regions, with an employment roster reaching over 30,000 employees.

What makes it most difficult to assess the potential that this financial move will have is that of the independent variable found in the services that it is willing to provide in the area of digital health specifically.

In recent years, the technologies associated with this field have skyrocketed out of proportion, especially in the last year or so, leaving experts wondering as to whether or not we are witnessing a bubble within this niche market.

While integrating digital technologies with healthcare, services, living, health and society, to augment the overall quality of healthcare and providing for a more precise and individualized medical experience is only one of the many concerns for the people at UnityPoint Health, it will be interesting to see how this story develops in the years to come, and what they make of this extraordinary move.

The post UnityPoint Health Kickstarts Medical Business Venture Fund of $100M appeared first on Healthcare Weekly.

Source: UnityPoint Health Kickstarts Medical Business Venture Fund of $100M

JPMorgan Moves Into Healthcare Payments Space With InstaMed Acquisition

JPMorgan Moves Into Healthcare Payments Space With InstaMed Acquisition

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is throwing down more than $500 million to acquire healthcare technology company, InstaMed, a move the investment bank hopes can cement its place in the niche payments market.

JPMorgan said the acquisition will expand the bank’s suite of payment services designed specifically for healthcare consumers, providers, and payers and also give it an advantage in what the financial institution described as one of the fastest growing sectors.

New, niche business

“With InstaMed, we combine the strength and scale of JPMorgan Chase’s payments capabilities with a leading healthcare payments solution for consumers, providers and payers. The InstaMed team is passionate about delivering an excellent client experience with a focus on innovation, keeping data safe and secure, and simplifying the end-to-end healthcare payments process – a natural fit with our Wholesale Payments franchise,” Takis Georgakopoulos, the global head of Wholesale Payments, JPMorgan Chase, said.

News agency, Reuters reported that the deal gave JPMorgan the chance to add a new, niche business sector to its wholesale payments business, an area into which the bank has steadily expanded in recent years.

This is JPMorgan’s biggest acquisition deal since 2008, when it bought Bear Stearns and the retail banking assets of Washington Mutual.

However, JPMorgan has yet to comment on how much it is spending to acquire InstaMed. It is expects the deal will close before the end of the year.

Healthcare spending in the U.S. was estimated to be worth more than $3.5 trillion in 2017. JPMorgan pointed out that there was significant “friction and inefficiency,” with these transactions. The financial services firm is betting that, with automation, it could reap huge rewards in the health payments sector.

“Legacy approaches to bill pay, claims processing, payment collection and reconciliation, among other areas, have been slow to modernize, causing pain-points across the industry. InstaMed’s centralized platform connects healthcare consumers, providers and payers through a proprietary healthcare payments network, enabling digital payments by sharing information securely and more efficiently than in traditional payment models,” the statement announcing the acquisition said.

JPMorgan’s Chief Executive Officer, Jamie Dimon, was quoted saying healthcare is one of the “toughest, most complicated [problems], but we know there are some things we can do to make the system work better.”

What InstaMed offers

InstaMed’s selling point is that it runs a centralized platform that helps eliminate paper, making an efficient process for consumers, while also cutting collection costs. The Healthcare Dive website explained that InstaMed, which employs about 300 people, built a patented, private cloud-based platform to link healthcare consumers, providers and payers, adding that the platform streamlines “the often confusing world of medical billing and payments.”

CNBC said that following the acquisition, JPMorgan plans to embed its vast payments infrastructure into InstaMed to offer a complete solution to clients. “The business will sit within this wholesale payments division, which moves $6 trillion a day for corporations around the world. The bank will also offer InstaMed to its entire universe of clients, from huge corporations to smaller businesses, and potentially integrate it with its JPMorgan Chase bill paying apps.”

It is estimated that automating claims-related business transactions could save providers and health plans more than $11 billion annually.

In 2018, InstaMed processed almost $100 billion in healthcare payments.

InstaMed co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Bill Marvin, said they were excited to be joining JPMorgan, saying the deal combined “one of the world’s preeminent financial institutions with the premier technology and talent in healthcare payments.”

Marvin, who will continue running InstaMed from Philadelphia, said: “Together, we will be able to invest in and expand the InstaMed Network, accelerate our consumer reach, and deepen our commitment to innovation.”

JPMorgan’s previous foray into Healthcare

The acquisition of InstaMed shows JPMorgan’s strategic focus on healthcare. At the beginning of 2018, it came together with Amazon and Berkshire to form Haven, an “independent company to address healthcare needs of their U.S. employees free from profit-making incentives and constraints.”

The Financial Times reported that the joint venture, Haven, is meant to reduce annual healthcare costs for the three groups’ roughly 1 million employees.

The idea behind the creation of Haven was that it would initially focus on technology solutions to provide the three companies’ U.S. employees with “high-quality and transparent healthcare at a reasonable cost.”

The InstaMed operation is separate from Haven.

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Source: JPMorgan Moves Into Healthcare Payments Space With InstaMed Acquisition