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Second opinion firm gets second funding round

Steve Sinovic
info@nnbw.biz
Rusty Hoffman, MD (left) and Owen Tripp, co-founders of Grand Rounds, were welcomed to northern Nevada by Gov. Brian Sandoval.
Matt Lush |

Grand Rounds, a digital health startup based in San Francisco but with a local presence in South Reno, has taken a large $55 million funding round.

The privately held business, which opened in Reno in May, said the funds will expand its technology, care team and analytics platform “to meet heightened demand for an employer-based solution that moves the needle on health care outcomes, costs and employee engagement.”

The financing brings Grand Rounds’ total funding to $106 million and includes participation from a new global mutual fund investor along with existing investors Greylock, Venrock, Harrison Metal and David Ebersman.

Some of that money is making its way to the Truckee Meadows.

“We opened our Reno office in May of this year with 32 employees, and are already approaching 50 total team members based here, said Owen Tripp, CEO of the company. “We are thrilled with this growing Reno team and are so thankful for the support we have gotten from the Reno community. The growth of this office will be key in building out our care team, which is at the core of what Grand Rounds does.”

When the business opened its local office in May of this year, officials said the company was expected to add up to 200 jobs in the region.

The company’s Web-based platform is intended to give employees of customer companies like Costco access to the highest quality second-opinion specialists.

“We want to make everyone a medical insider,” said Rusty Hoffman, MD. Hoffmann co-founded Grand Rounds with the goal of ensuring that access to state-of-the-art care is available to everyone, not just the rich and privileged. When he isn’t helping run Grand Rounds, he’s chief of interventional radiology at Stanford University Hospital.

“Expanding into Reno is a major milestone for Grand Rounds, and the northern Nevada community has met us with open arms,” said Tripp. “We have already hired many incredibly talented local employees and we look forward to growing the team rapidly as we pursue our vision of guiding all patients to better health and health care.”

Company officials said the main reason for expanding to Reno was the city’s accessibility to talent and the abundant work space, something that’s hard to come by in competitive areas like Silicon Valley, which is home to tech giants like Apple and Google.

In terms of its future economic impact, the company said it expects to generate a payroll of $8 million annually once it staffs up to 200 employees. Leading up to the announcement, Grand Rounds invested in $750,000 in building improvements and equipment.

Many of the staff members locally will be developing and testing the company’s software.

The Grand Rounds name comes from the tradition at teaching hospitals of inviting top medical experts to lecture about the latest technology or treatment. The practice goes back to a tradition begun at Johns Hopkins where a patient would sit in the middle of an amphitheater surrounded by specialists who would work together to find a diagnosis.

The business, founded in 2011, said it is now reinventing the world of grand rounds online, helping patients find the best doctors for their specific ailments.

Danielle Snow, the company’s vice president of care operations, said employers provide the revenue stream for the business. “They purchase us as a benefit for their employees,” she explained.