Healthcare is a deeply complex system with a large surface area. This is why we look for technical founders with deep domain expertise who have traversed the idea maze. And just like our founders, we, as investors and board members, also need to deeply understand the domain and know the terrain — expertise and experience is required. Which is why when we decided to expand our efforts in healthcare technology investments, Julie Yoo was my first phone call.
I first met Julie twelve years ago, in the early days of the genome revolution. I had recently founded genomics startup Knome, and we desperately needed a product manager to create a product to interpret and develop use cases for data that had not, until then, existed at scale. Julie was just wrapping up graduate school at Harvard and MIT, where she was studying biomedicine and business; previously, she had been a software engineer at enterprise search company Endeca, and had done her undergraduate work in computer science and pre-medicine, also at MIT. (She also claimed to be unbeatable in Super Mario Kart at that time, but that was quickly debunked.)
It was immediately clear that Julie had a deep technical understanding of both software and DNA data, and an innate talent for managing the product design and development cycle. She was critical in shaping both our vision and culture — and as one journalist described her, she is “intensely bright and engaging.” Over the course of two years, she led our product innovations, including creating our core genome analysis platform architecture. Julie left an indelible mark on our company.
Julie left Knome to jump in as VP of Product at Generation Health, a genetic testing benefit manager on the leading edge of a broad movement to better understand the costs and benefits of these emerging technologies. The company was quickly acquired by CVS Health. So for her next act, she dove even deeper into the healthcare system, starting her own company.
Julie’s company Kyruus had the incredibly ambitious goal of creating a modern routing and scheduling platform for hospital systems to match patients to the right physicians. This “OpenTable for healthcare” play aimed to both improve the patient experience and to optimize capacity utilization across the healthcare system. Under Julie’s leadership as Chief Product Officer, she created the company’s industry-leading ProviderMatch platform, and the company successfully raised capital from some of the top healthcare venture capital firms. Today, Kyruus’ platform has served over 20M patients and is used by over 225,000 healthcare providers across the country.
As Julie recognized when founding Kyruus, our healthcare system could use an upgrade. We’re in the midst of a major tectonic shift in this $3 trillion sector: technology is on the verge of transforming how we access, pay for, and even deliver healthcare; software is eating care delivery. As one of the bold entrepreneurs helping to catalyze the industry herself, Julie has a deep understanding of how to support founders on their journeys through this high-stakes, high-impact world. She has fought the boardroom battles, endured the long sales cycles, and has orchestrated complex integrations into legacy infrastructure. Her network runs deep, from decision-makers at leading health systems and insurers to the next-generation entrepreneurs building the next new thing. And she’s known across the industry as an inexhaustible source of energy and enthusiasm. As far as I can see, her only notable downside is that she habitually overuses the Party Parrot emoji.
I’m thrilled to announce that Julie Yoo has joined us as a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, where she will focus on healthcare technology investments for the a16z bio fund. We are fortunate to have someone on our team who understands deeply how both software and the healthcare system work, and who knows how to build both products and companies. Health tech entrepreneurs will be lucky to have her on their team, too.