Ex-Googlers’ tech startup Flatiron Health sells for $1.9 billion

Pharma giant Roche is stepping a foot firmly in the tech world, putting down $1.9 billion to buy a software company founded by two ex-Googlers.

The company, called Flatiron Health, is developing tech for life science, academics, and hospitals. Roche was already a financial backer for the New York City-based company, previously owning 12% of Flatiron before the buyout. Adding up its existing stake, Roche is paying more like $2.1 billion to get its hands on the company.

The company was founded by a two-man entrepreneurial team who attended an elite college together where they founded a startup they sold to Google for a reported $81 million have just sold a second company they founded together for nearly $2 billion.

Flatiron, a privately held company backed by Google Ventures (now GV), sells data management and analytics software to cancer clinics, research centers and life-science companies. It has collaborated with the Food and Drug Administration and makes software for the keeping of electronic health records, a product subject to close regulatory scrutiny. Roche makes a number of leading cancer drugs.

Flatiron has an electronic health record system used by oncologists that collects data, which later becomes useful to drugmakers.

This latest deal highlight’s Roche’s increasing interest in technology companies. It’s previously partnered with 23andMe and Foundation Medicine.

“As part of the acquisition, Roche is committing additional resources to Flatiron so that we can continue on our mission and have an even greater impact,” Flatiron CEO Turner said in a company blog post.

Flatiron will operate separately beside other Roche business units, Turner said.

The deal is expected to close by the end of June, Roche said.

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