Sao Paulo – Healthtech Sami announces the largest Series A round ever recorded in a health startup in Latin America. The new round, of USD 15,5 million, was co-led by Valor Capital Group and Monashees and adds to the investment made by names like Redpoint eVentures and Canary. These are four of the five most active funds in Brazil and are behind 7 of the 13 Brazilian unicorns.
Founded in 2018, Sami brings solutions to major health care problems such as high cost, inefficiency and low quality medical care. With this proposal, it has been attracting the attention of the national and international markets: so far, there are more than USD 16,8 million in investments received.
The announcement also marks the transformation of the startup into a health plans operator, starting to attend small companies and liberal professionals in Sao Paulo. With the regularization of telemedicine in Brazil, founders Vitor Asseituno and Guilherme Berardo understood that this is the right moment to help make health more digital. Together, they have years of experience in the field, as well as the other great industry leaders who have joined the venture.
Brazil is the 2nd largest private health care market in the world (behind only the United States), but faces increasing costs: in 2018, the average readjustment of collective plan contracts was 13.32%. Between 2013 and 2018, business plan inflation reached an impressive 158.35%. Sami seeks to change this scenario through a relationship of trust and technology at the service of health, reducing waste and increasing efficiency.
“Sami wants to improve patient care and also benefit the entire system, which urgently needs a transformation. Today we find a market of difficult and bureaucratic hiring that offers expensive plans without quality, valuing more the quantity of procedures than the orientation and coordinated health care. People pay dearly and when they need it, they can’t use it,” explains Dr. Vitor Asseituno, founding physician and president of the startup. “In Sami we are guided by values such as intelligence in health, trust in the relationship and respect for time and money of those involved. This leads us to a service that values the medical history coordinated with other professionals, a preventive medicine with a health team available 24 hours a day through the app and much respect and transparency throughout the process,” he adds.
For Michael Nicklas, partner of Valor Capital Group, the sector needs a disruptive performance. “It is through technology that the health care market will empower itself and Sami is applying this, with digital transformation, bringing transparency and increasing user interaction. Therefore, there are efficiency gains for the companies and for the ecosystem as a whole”, he says.
According to Caio Bolognesi, partner at monashees, the turnaround in Sami’s operation will be a major transformation in the sector. “We are very happy with the partnership with Sami. We see on the team entrepreneurs that are motivated to launch much more than a new health plan – they are rethinking all the incentives along the health chain to promote better care to their customers, with a much more attractive cost for companies. An equation in which everyone wins”, he points out.
What the platform offers
With the new capital round, Sami will be a pioneer in the management of the entire health value chain, from hiring to discharge, including consultations, exams and procedures. The platform will offer primary attention to the user and medical guidance 24 hours a day, unifying the practicality of digital, the care needed by the patient and the sustainability that the sector needs to make health more accessible in Brazil.
From October 20, those who live in Sao Paulo and have an Employer Identification Number will be able to register on a waiting list with special conditions at www.samisaude.com.br. The first clients will have 1 year of Gympass for free, the largest benefit of healthy living in the world, with more than 55,000 academies and more than 46 health apps. The product should be available in November for those who signed up for the list.
Sami offers a network with superior quality to other models on the market, and at a more affordable price. To conquer the competitive price, the company has created a partnership relationship with the accredited, leaving them to treat only as service providers, besides offering a remuneration based on quality and not on the attendance volume. The first hospital partner of Sami will be BP – The Beneficencia Portuguesa Hospital of Sao Paulo, where the company also has a clinic for primary care.
Sami also has three well known partners: Paulo Veras, former CEO and founder of 99 (first Brazilian unicorn); Sergio Ricardo dos Santos, former CEO of Amil, and Alan Warren, former Google Vice President, creator of Google Drive and former CTO of Oscar Health, a digital health plan operator invested by Google that recently announced IPO for next year.
Sami is a health plan operator with an initial focus on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and liberal professionals who combine technology with preventive care and primary care to change the Brazilian health scenario. Created in 2018 by Vitor Asseituno and Guilherme Berardo, entrepreneurs already known in the health market, the company has among its investors Redpoint eVentures, Canary, Valor Capital Group and Monashees. In 2020, it received the largest A Series investment in health in Latin America in history.
About the founders:
Vitor Asseituno, co-founder and president of Sami, is a physician with a degree from UNIFESP and an MBA in finance from FGV. He created his first company in the trade fair sector (Live Healthcare) and sold in 2018 to the Informa group, a global market leader with listed capital on the London Stock Exchange.
Guilherme Berardo, co-founder and CEO of Sami, holds a bachelor’s degree in International Business from San Diego State University. He worked at Merrill Lynch in the United States and founded the first long-term hospital network in Brazil (Premium Care), today with 8 hospitals. His second company, invested by Rick Krieger, founder of MinuteClinic (sold to CVS), was a pioneer in the concept of primary care in Brazil.