FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Savvy Cooperative Announces its Seed Investment with Indie.VC
Becomes the first-ever cooperative to raise venture capital
NEW YORK, April 16, 2020 – Savvy Cooperative is excited to announce that it has just raised its first round of financing from Indie.vc. The funds will be used to scale up its operations in order to help more pharmaceutical and healthcare companies de-risk their innovations by getting patient input through its online patient insights marketplace. Here, patients can find opportunities to be compensated for sharing their experiences through clinical, user-experience, and market research in an effort to improve health innovations.
“Savvy represents everything we’d like to see in the future of impactful businesses--shared ownership, diverse perspectives, and aligned incentives, tackling one of the largest industries on the planet,” shares Bryce Roberts, Founder of Indie.vc.
Through its unique co-op structure, patient member-owners are incentivized to activate their personal networks to help innovators quickly get input from diverse patients. Savvy’s approach has delivered unprecedented results to their pharma, digital health, and agency clients alike.
The new investment will enable Savvy to further capitalize on its position as a leader in patient insights and patient-centered design in healthcare.
“Healthcare companies strive to be patient-centered, and step one to accomplish this is to actually understand the needs and priorities of the patients they aim to serve. As brands try to differentiate themselves with a better patient experience, we are seeing a huge appetite for patient insights. This financing will help us scale up our operations and offerings in order to keep up with the client demand,” says Jen Horonjeff, PhD, Founder & CEO of Savvy Cooperative.
This financing also marks the first-ever venture capital investment in a cooperatively-owned business, also known as a co-op. Co-ops are member-owned, and while member-owners must retain majority control, many co-ops are able to take outside investment. To make way for this first round of financing, Savvy’s nearly 500 patient member-owners were asked to vote to approve amendments to its bylaws that would create a series of investor shares. In less than 24 hours, the amendments were passed, which not only made this investment possible, but demonstrated co-ops can act with the same speed and agility of traditional businesses while being accountable to their users.
“A common misconception about co-ops is that they are small, local, and slow. Savvy is demonstrating that co-ops can not only move fast, but also create buy-in, network effects, and brand trust, all of which are key ingredients to large, sustainable, scalable companies. We hope this first-ever financing helps to support that the alignment of incentives between companies, users, and investors is possible, and paves the way for other venture capitalists to use new models in order to invest in cooperatively-owned businesses,” Horonjeff says.
About Savvy Cooperative
Savvy Cooperative accelerates the development of patient-centered products and solutions by providing a gig economy marketplace for patient insights. Companies and innovators can connect directly with diverse patients and consumers to participate in market research, user-testing, discussion boards and co-design opportunities. Using a unique co-op model, Savvy Cooperative is the first patient-owned platform that empowers patients to use their health experiences to advance research, resources and product development. For more information about Savvy Cooperative, please visit www.savvy.coop and follow Savvy Cooperative on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Interviews available upon request.
Founder & CEO
Jen Horonjeff, PhD, is the founder and CEO of Savvy Cooperative, and is a passionate patient advocate living with multiple autoimmune diseases. Jen holds a PhD in Environmental Medicine and was named one of the 50 Most Daring Entrepreneurs of 2018 by Entrepreneur Magazine, alongside Elon Musk, Chance the Rapper and Reese Witherspoon. Jen is deeply committed to human-centered design in healthcare, and has firsthand knowledge as both a patient and professional; she is a chronic illness patient, health outcomes researcher, human factors engineer and FDA advisor.