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Andreessen makes Ribbon Health the first investment from its $750 million new healthcare fund – TechCrunch

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One of the biggest roadblocks to reducing costs in the American healthcare system is the system’s inherent lack of transparency.

Most healthcare networks and hospital systems can’t even accurately account for the doctors they manage and which insurance plans those doctors accept — let alone how good those doctors actually are at providing care, according to Ribbon Health chief executive Nate Maslak.

The former healthcare consultant founded Ribbon Health to address just that issue, and the company has raised $10.25 million in new financing to roll out its software services to a broader network of payers, providers and digital health companies.

The new financing was led by Andreessen Horowitz, and included Y Combinator and the New York-based investment firm BoxGroup. Individual healthcare executives like Nat Turner, the chief executive of Flatiron Health; Vivek Garipalli, chief executive and co-founder of Clover Health; and Eric Roza, the former chief executive of DataLogix, also participated in the financing.

It’s the first deal for Andreessen’s newest healthcare-focused partner, Julie Yoo, and is in an area with which Yoo is quite familiar. The former serial healthcare entrepreneur developed a similar business to tackle better data collection and delivery for hospitals at Kyruus.

Taking an API -based approach, Ribbon Health is building on the Kyruus approach, Yoo said, with the potential to expand across the entire breadth of the American healthcare system.

Simply, Ribbon Health is trying to create an accurate database of what doctors and health plans have, which specializations offer their services to which insurance providers, and produce the best outcomes for patients.

“$700 billion wasted because of poor decisions,” said Maslak. “The information not flowing to the right place at the right time. Over a third of healthcare spending is wasted and we think that over half is data-addressable.”

“The majority of decisions in health care rely on data about a provider or health plan, yet our industry lacks the systematic infrastructure to centralize this information and contextualize it for those who need it. There is a clear need for a single platform that can provide comprehensive, up-to-date data to enable informed decision making across health care, and we believe Ribbon is poised to lead in this space,” said Yoo, in a statement.

Along with the new financing, Ribbon also unveiled a tool that provides cost and quality information for patients to understand their potential out-of-pocket cost estimates based on their deductible, plan design and provider prices.

“So much of the innovation in health care relies on accurate data. Our goal is to provide these companies the critical data infrastructure needed to improve quality of care, health outcomes, and control costs,” said Nate Fox, co-founder and chief technology officer at Ribbon Health, in a statement. “Our platform and seamless API make it easy for customers to trust us to deliver the most comprehensive, accurate data, allowing them to focus on what they do best on the front lines of health care.”

The company is already working with Oak Street Health and Well (Well Dot, Inc.), and will use the additional funding to expand its sales and marketing efforts and increase adoption.

“Provider data is a basic building block of every healthcare transaction,” said Yoo. “Whether it’s you or I trying to enroll… or referral claim processing… there are tens of billions of transactions, all of which require information about a provider.”

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Gulf Energy, Binance announce Thailand crypto partnership

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Binance, one of the world’s biggest cyrptocurrency exchange by trading volume, will set up a crypto exchange with Thailand’s Gulf Energy Development, both firms said on Monday.

Gulf Energy in a disclosure to the stock exchange said its agreement with Binance is a response to the rapid growth in digital asset infrastructure in Thailand.

Binance said it would set up the cryto exchange and related businesses in the country.

“Our goal is to work with government, regulators and innovative companies to develop the crypto and blockchain ecosystem in Thailand,” a Binance spokesperson said.

“The first step is to explore opportunities in an open and collaborative manner. ”

Last year, Binance received a criminal complaint from Thailand’s market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for operating a digital asset business without a license.

The Thai energy company has been diversifying into new areas and last year became the major shareholder of Intouch Holdings Pcl, owner of the country’s largest cellphone operator, Advanced Info Service PCL.

 

(Reporting by Panu Wongcha-um; Editing by Martin Petty)

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Toronto market notches 8-week high as energy shares climb

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Canada’s main stock index rose on Monday to its highest level in nearly eight weeks, led by gains for energy and financial shares.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index ended up 179.89 points, or 0.8%, at 21,537.45, its highest closing level since Nov. 25.

Gains for the index were notched as shares globally recovered some ground after declines at the end of last week.

“Overseas market action has been positive and we’re basically benefiting from it,” said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management.

The energy sector rose 1.7% as oil prices climbed. U.S. crude oil futures were up 0.6%, with investors expecting that global supply will remain tight despite a rise in Libyan output.

Technology and financials, the Toronto market‘s most heavily-weighted sector, both gained 1.2%, while the materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.5%.

TSX trading volumes were lower than usual as U.S. markets were closed for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

Canadian firms see labor shortages intensifying and wage pressures increasing, with strong demand growth and supply chain constraints putting upward pressure on prices, a regular Bank of Canada survey said, bolstering bets the central bank would hike interest rates as early as next week.

 

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Additional reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Paul Simao)

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Bitcoin investors dig in for long haul in ‘staggering’ shift

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As bitcoin heads into 2022, a growing cohort of long-term investors is doubling down on its stashes of the cryptocurrency, hoping a December dip was merely a festive blip.

Some industry watchers point to the underlying stability of such long-term investments as potentially promising indicators for the capricious cryptocurrency.

Since last July, for example, the amount of bitcoin held in digital wallets with no outflows for more than five months has been steadily increasing, according to digital currency brokerage Genesis Trading.

In addition, the amount of the bitcoin held in “illiquid” wallets – which spend less than quarter of their inflows – is also rising, meaning fewer coin are being actively traded, it added, citing wallet data across several exchanges.

“The number of bitcoins that haven’t moved in over a year has been climbing since July,” said Noelle Acheson, head of market insights at Genesis Trading. “That’s pretty staggering.”

Many investors were nonetheless sent diving for cover in December when the world’s most popular cryptocurrency sunk almost 20%, roughly the same as the second-biggest coin ether, with risk appetite hit by inflation fears and a quicker pace of interest rate hikes from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

While bitcoin and ether both posted gains last week – up 2.9% to $43,107 and up 6.3% to $3,350, respectively – they are still some way off their 2021 highs of $69,000 and $4,868

‘STRONG HANDS’

Many cryptocurrency experts caution that no one has been known to reliably predict bitcoin’s characteristically wild price swings. In 2017, for example, it went from about $1,000 to around $20,000. In early 2020, it sunk below $4,000 at one point before beginning a dizzying rise.

Yet advocates of bitcoin and other coins say the increasing acceptance of cryptocurrencies in mainstream financial and investing in recent years has shored up the sector.

Cryptocurrency research firm Delphi Digital said their research showed a similar shift towards bitcoin being held for longer period by investors, which it said “illustrates a transference from shorter-term ‘weak hands’ to long-term ‘strong hands’.”

Crypto data platform Coinglass’s bitcoin Fear & Greed index, has wavered between 10 and 29 since the start of the year, which could be an indicator of a possible market bottom and buying opportunities, according to Will Hamilton, head of trading & research at Trovio Capital Management.

“Previous market bottoms in July 2021 and March 2020 correlated with Fear and Greed scores of 19 and 10 respectively,” he added.

For the uninitiated, 0 indicates “extreme fear” and 100 is “extreme greed”

MUSK AND DOGE

There were, meanwhile, more headlines for cryptocurrencies last week.

Meme-based dogecoin stole the spotlight after Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the company would accept it as payment for select merchandise.

The tweet sent dogecoin up nearly 12%.

“If more people are looking to buy Tesla merchandise with dogecoin then there’s more demand,” Acheson said, adding that this move could improve fundamental factors for dogecoin.

Cryptocurrency Solana was another altcoin in focus, with Bank of America analysts saying the Solana blockchain could pull market share away from ethereum and “could become the Visa of the digital asset ecosystem”.

Elsewhere, bitcoin miners bounced back from mining crackdowns in China and the recent unrest in Kazakhstan, one of the world’s primary centres for bitcoin mining.

Bitcoin’s mean “hash rate” a measure of the power of the bitcoin computing network, touched an all time high of over 215 million terahashes per second on Thursday, according to blockchain data provider Glassnode.

 

(Reporting by Medha Singh and Lisa Mattackal in Bengaluru; Editing by Vidya Ranganathan and Pravin Char) (more…)

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