Revel Health, a software firm that works with insurers to help patients take better care of themselves, has received a $17 million investment from TT Capital Partners, the company said.
The $17 million also is one of the larger venture-capital or private-equity investments in a privately held Minnesota firm this year.
CEO Jeff Fritz, 48, a veteran emerging-technology executive, said Revel will use the funds to increase marketing efforts, further develop its technology and grow the North Loop-based company from 40 to 100 or so employees over the next two to three years.
"This company has had a 35 percent year-over-year sales growth without a robust sales and marketing team and effort," said Fritz, who joined the company in January and is a minority shareholder. "We see a lot of opportunity to innovate this 'engagement engine.' "
Fritz declined to mention customers, but one is believed to be UnitedHealth Group, one of the world's largest health insurers. He also declined to discuss Revel's revenue or other financials. He said the investment makes TT Capital a "significant" investor.
Insurers hire Revel to use technology to prompt people to get their checkups, cancer screenings or take at-home steps to maintain or improve an acute condition or general health.
"Even elder loneliness," Fritz said. "It's a large contributor to morbidity and mortality. We [connect] by iPhone, laptop or even have a live person call."
The interactions are driven by the customer — by requests, medical history, data analytics of his or her case and artificial intelligence.
"The shift is toward how do we help people to do things that are good for them. Listening and learning," he said. "In the past if we had a flu prevention campaign we'd do a single campaign and push that to 1 million members to get a flu shot. Now we're nuanced."
Revel said in a statement one of the goals also is to reduce long-term costs through the customer interactions.
The U.S. health care system and insurers have been moving in recent years to reimbursement based more on patient health improvement than the traditional fee-for-service model.
"That's the trend, regardless of federal policy shifts," Fritz said. "That horse has left the barn."
Edina-based TT Capital Partners is a firm created to invest in promising companies by Triple Tree, a 20-year-old health care merchant bank and investment banker.
"We are excited to collaborate with the management team as Revel serves existing customers, expands to new markets and accelerates further development of its modern technology platform," said Conor Green, a partner at TT Capital.
Fritz earlier was an executive with growth companies Storyworks 1 (acquired by Insite Software) and Evolution 1 (now part of WEX Health). Both were software companies in consumer-driven health care.