Amazon, Berkshire, JPMorgan Fold Healthcare Disruption Startup Haven


Haven, the Silicon Valley healthcare disruption startup launched in 2018 by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase, is being dissolved. 

Sources told CNBC on Monday (Jan. 4) that Boston-based Haven advised employees that the startup will shutter at the end of February. Some of its 57 employees are anticipated to relocate to Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway or JPMorgan Chase. The three companies “are expected to collaborate informally on healthcare projects,” according to the sources.

“The Haven team made good progress exploring a wide range of healthcare solutions, as well as piloting new ways to make primary care easier to access, insurance benefits simpler to understand and easier to use, and prescription drugs more affordable,” Haven spokeswoman Brooke Thurston told CNBC.

She added that Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase will “leverage these insights” and team up on an informal basis to develop solutions “tailored to address the specific needs of our individual employee populations and locations.” 

When the venture was originally announced in late January of 2018, it aimed to fix the country’s ailing healthcare system by tapping technology-based solutions that would offer people an affordable, high-quality and transparent option for medical care.

The company named renowned surgeon Dr. Atul Gawande as its CEO and said it planned to collaborate with existing insurance companies, healthcare providers and pharmacy managers. 

Two of the three companies have some kind of involvement with the healthcare sector. In 2019, JPMorgan acquired healthcare payments technology firm InstaMed for $500 million. InstaMed aimed to improve the patient experience while also reducing paper-based processes and collections. The company said healthcare spending in the U.S. topped $3 trillion. 

For its part, eCommerce giant Amazon launched a pharmacy storefront in November 2020 offering two-day delivery for Prime members. Users paying for prescriptions without using insurance get 40 percent off brand name drugs and 80 percent off generics. Users can also use more than 50,000 participating drugstores.

Berkshire Hathaway has an estimated $904 million stake in Amazon and about a $6 billion stake in JPMorgan. Berkshire also owns more than 90 businesses, including the BNSF railroad and auto insurer Geico.