A Cloud For Every Industry — Real Estate, Health Care, & Beyond

Brian Feinstein & Trevor Oelschig | VB News | January 29, 2015

Jonathan Bush and Todd Park didn’t mean to start a software revolution. They just wanted to get paid. In 1997, the duo founded a birthing clinic in San Diego, with plans to franchise the model. Before long, things started to go wrong. Their company lacked a system to keep track of insurance claims. Jonathan and Todd quickly faced a cash flow crisis.

They turned to Park’s younger brother, who created a cloud-based administrative system that made dealing with insurers less painful. The software let the founders focus on patients, rather than paperwork. It wasn’t long before Bush and Park realized the problems they were solving were widespread — and the solution they built had broad applications. Their focus quickly shifted from babies to claims processing. These days, athenahealth has a valuation of nearly $5.5 billion.

Industry cloud software companies have largely been ignored by the investment world because of the assumption that the markets they serve are too small to support billion-dollar outcomes. We think that’s misguided — and a quick look at some of the numbers shows why...