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Collective Health Said to Seek Funding at $1 Billion Valuation

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(Bloomberg) — Collective Health Inc. is trying to raise money from strategic and financial investors in a round that would value the do-it-yourself health insurance startup at $1 billion, according to people familiar with the situation.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is helping the San Francisco-based firm raise another $100 million or so, according to the people, who asked not to be identified talking about private funding efforts. Collective Health has raised more than $100 million so far, with the most recent infusion coming from Alphabet Inc.’s GV, Founders Fund and others in late 2015. A company spokeswoman declined to comment.

(Related: Health Insurance Startup is Kobo Founder’s Next ’Big Swing’)

The push comes as investors continue betting tech startups will disrupt the multibillion-dollar insurance sector through more efficient underwriting and new practices like crowdsourcing and on-demand coverage, which lets users pay for insurance only when they need it. Investors backed a record 174 insurance startups last year, an increase of 40% from 2015 and 85% from 2014, according to research firm CB Insights.

Founded in 2013, Collective Health acts as a carrier for companies choosing to manage their own employees’ health insurance coverage. Instead of working through a large insurer like Aetna Inc. or Kaiser Permanente, the startup administers medical, pharmacy, dental and vision claims on a single platform on behalf of its customers.

Competing against hundreds of third-party insurance administrators in the United States, Collective Health aims to streamline and digitize a process that is still largely fragmented and offline. Collective clients, which pay $35 to $50 a month per employee depending on the services, include Activision Blizzard Inc., Zendesk Inc., EBay Inc. and Palantir Technologies Inc.

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