Dutch health insurer VGZ invests €6 million in NLC Health Ventures



Dutch health insurer VGZ invests €6 million in NLC Health Ventures


As a driver of healthcare innovation, VGZ is investing €6 million in NLC Health Ventures (NLC), marking the first time a health insurer has made an investment in NLC. VGZ and NLC enter into a strategic partnership to develop and grow impactful, innovative companies in healthcare. This capital injection enables NLC to successfully expand numerous start-ups each year. Since 2015, NLC has been bringing impactful innovations to patients on a large scale, with over 100 startups, 4 funds, and activities in 16 countries, all aimed at improving the quality of healthcare.


Kees Hamster, CFO of VGZ: “Through our “Voorop in Zorg” fund, we are investing 60 million in innovative companies that keep healthcare accessible and affordable. The focus is on companies that offer solutions to increase labor potential, reduce healthcare use, and minimize patient inflow. This way, we save time for healthcare professionals, deploy resources smarter, and contribute to patient self-management. VGZ can leverage its knowledge and expertise to help companies that are about to enter the market or are in the process of further scaling up in the Netherlands, by offering access to know-how on reimbursements, market size, current care pathways, contracting, and revenue models.”


The partnership with NLC fits perfectly with this approach. NLC identifies, builds, and scales transformative health innovations, bringing them to market with the aim of providing more patients with quality care. “VGZ sees major challenges in healthcare, for which NLC can find suitable innovations, from around the world, and build them into full-fledged companies. The investment from and cooperation with VGZ will make it possible to get these innovations to patients faster,” said Bert-Arjan Millenaar, CEO and founder of NLC Health Ventures.


An example of such an innovation is Nicolab, which significantly improves time-sensitive stroke treatments through information exchange between doctors and hospitals, supported by AI. Every day, more than 250 people in the Netherlands suffer a stroke or TIA, and the consequences of a stroke are the leading cause of disability in the country, affecting 376,000 people daily. More than half of all stroke survivors are not functioning independently six months later, mainly because the brainclot was not removed in time or at all. By investing in this innovation, patients have a better chance of emergency treatment to remove risky clots and are 1.8 times more likely to live independently after a stroke. This leads to a better quality of life and significant cost savings for hospitals and society. NLC played a key role in making Nicolab’s stroke care solution available.


VGZ aims to actively contribute to future-proofing healthcare and become a leader in sustainable investment. The “Voorop in Zorg” fund embodies this ambition and is part of Coöperatie VGZ. The fund invests 60 million in innovative companies that keep healthcare accessible and affordable, focusing on (pre)seed and early-stage companies active in Medtech, Healthtech, Digital Health Services, and data exchange. In addition to providing early-stage capital, VGZ also leverages its healthcare knowledge and expertise to accelerate the development of these companies, with the shared ambition of improving healthcare.


NLC Health Ventures, based in Amsterdam, is the most active health technology investor in Europe and the world’s largest healthtech venture builder. NLC finds, builds, and scales transformative health innovations with the goal of providing more patients with quality care. NLC is a so-called ‘BCorp,’ its funds comply with SFDR9 guidelines, and they contribute to ESG 3, 9, and 17. With more than 100 start-ups, 4 funds, and activity in 16 countries, they bring impactful innovations to patients on a large scale. The NLC Health Impact Fund is NLC’s newest and largest fund to date, investing in NLC’s start-ups. The fund deploys capital for ventures at various stages, providing both initial and follow-up funding.


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