See the pitch deck that an ex-Goldman partner and a public-health doctor used to convince Verily and Venrock to pour $8 million into a startup taking a new approach to fighting disease outbreaks


As some Americans eye the end of the coronavirus pandemic, a California tech company is just getting started.

The Public Health Company promises to help governments and businesses navigate the current pandemic and prepare for future outbreaks, using public and proprietary data sets. On Thursday, the startup raised $8 million in seed funding from Venrock, Sweat Equity Ventures, and Alphabet’s Verily.

Although named for a public health service, The Public Health Company will sell its software directly. Dr. Charity Dean, The Public Health Company’s cofounder and CEO, told Insider that she compares public health preparedness to cybersecurity measures that ramped up in the wake of highly publicized data breaches over the last few years.

“After a number of high-profile attacks, it became apparent to all entities that the ability to prevent them and respond to them was something they had to have,” Dean said. “We believe very much that disease control and the ability to prevent, detect, and contain disease threats will very much undergo the same perspective shift in the US and the world.”

Dean declined to elaborate on how it charges companies for the analysis tools and software The Public Health Company can offer, and also declined to specify where the company gets its data for its recommendation engine. Using the example of norovirus on a cruise ship, however, she mentioned that the company’s software would evaluate elements such as port cities and overall cruise passenger demographics to create recommendations for cruise-bound health officials.

It’s a need companies and governments have even once the coronavirus pandemic fades in the US, although Dean, who is a former California state public health official, maintains that COVID-19 will be top of mind in parts of the country for years to come.

“We absolutely believe the capability of our platform is sadly needed in the private and public sector for years to come,” Dean said.

The Public Health Company is a software startup that aims to advise businesses and governments on how to respond to public health crises.

It focuses on managing businesses’ legal and financial risk