Alphabet’s Verily raises $1B to expand precision health business



Alphabet’s life science offshoot Verily announced it had raised $1 billion in an investment round led by its parent company alongside a shakeup of its executive team.

The company’s founder Andy Conrad will step down as CEO, moving to an executive chairman position on Verily’s board. Current president Stephen Gillett will take the reins in the chief executive role, effective January 2023.

Gillett joined the life science subsidiary from Google two years ago to start up a Cybersecurity Center of Excellence. Later in 2020, he took on the chief operating officer role and then the president title. He was previously cofounder and CEO of Alphabet cybersecurity company Chronicle, which is now part of Google Cloud. 

Meanwhile, CFO Deepak Ahuja will leave Verily at the end of the month to join Zipline, a drone delivery company. Verily said he’ll continue to advise the company, but it will immediately begin a search for his replacement. 

WHAT THEY DO

Verily was launched out of Alphabet’s research and development arm, then called Google X, in 2015. Its offerings include initiatives like its clinical trial platform Project Baseline, chronic condition management service Onduo, health system analytics tool Verily Value Suite and its Immune Profiler for drug discovery.

Verily plans to use the massive investment to expand its precision healthcare initiatives, including real-world evidence generation and healthcare data platforms. The spinout said it will also consider investing in more strategic partnerships and potential acquisitions.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

The company has already entered into a number of partnerships to develop health tech tools. In July, cardiac remote monitoring company iRhythm Technologies announced it has received another FDA 510(k) clearance for its ZEUS System for monitoring atrial fibrillation patients that was developed in partnership with Verily. 

The spinout recently released early results from its drug discovery collaboration with biopharma company Sosei Heptares, which aims to find new drug candidates for immune-mediated diseases. It’s also worked with cosmetics giant L’Oréal, dental care company Colgate-Palmolive and the Mayo Clinic.

Verily announced its first acquisition, a deal with clinical trial management system developer SignalPath, in August 2021. It’s also invested in a number of digital health and health tech startups, including AI voice tool Syllable, biotech company EQRx and biomanufacturing startup Culture Biosciences.



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