Top New York VC Joshua Kushner has a new company, Oscar, that wants to change health care


Credit: David Yellen

Joshua Kushner, investor and founder of New York-based investment firm, Thrive Capital and well known for backing hot startups such as Instagram, Fab, Warby Parker and Codecademy, has been quietly working on his second startup, which is focused on the healthcare industry.

Forbes, which has revealed further details about the company, says it is called Oscar. We first reported about the company in November 2012. In the past Kushner had started Vostu, a social gaming company, based in Brazil. Here are relevant nuggets from the Forbes article by Steven Bertoni:

  • It is focused on health insurance.
  • It is co-founded by Kushner, Kevin Nazemi (formerly with Microsoft Healthcare division) and Mario Schlosser.
  • It has raised $40 million in funding from Thrive Capital, Founders Fund, General Catalyst and Khosla Ventures. Vinod Khosla is on the board of the company.
  • Charlie Baker, formerly chief of Harvard Pilgrim Insurance, is on the board of the company.
  • Fredrik Nylander, formerly of Tumblr, is the tech chief.
  • The company is using data and user experience to reinvent what is a very traditional business.
  • It has been awarded a license as New York health insurance operation.


Can someone in California deal with this company? I cannot seam to find a website, just news. I saw the Chris Hayes segment and sincerely hope this ray of light becomes a beacon.

Barbara O'Brien

I saw the Christ Hayes segment, too. Searching for their website. It’s exciting to think someone — anyone — has the foresight and clarity to take on the traditional health insurance industry. Long overdue! Let’s hope they also have a few associates/employees/consultants who have experience IN health insurance and actual healthcare delivery. This very lack is a big part of the problem of the traditional companies — people with MBAs and financial or actuarial expertise running things without a clue about patient care and provider ethics, overlooking or discounting expertise of those of us in the “trenches”, so to speak.


“The company is using data and user experience to reinvent what is a very traditional business.”

I am curious what they are planning to do. Much of the Healthcare Act is geared toward standardizing health insurance and reducing the scope for variation in pricing and coverage: lots of rules setting minimum coverage requirements, requirements to cover pre-existing conditions, limits on what factors can be used in setting rates, etc.

Weldon Tipple

If this startup eschews the traditional insurance model, they might have something.


I have it all written down and mailed to myself with a United States Post Office postmark.
Thank you,

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