Silicon Valley just made this South Florida company a whole lot richer

MDLive now has more than 300 employees.
MDLive now has more than 300 employees. MDLive

For nearly a decade, Sunrise-based MDLive has been putting South Florida’s healthcare technology sector on the map. Claiming the title of America’s largest telemedicine provider, MDLive allows anyone to access a board-certified doctor, dermatologist or counselor remotely.

On Wednesday, the privately held company again confirmed its importance to the region’s growing tech ecosystem, attracting $50 million in new investment from companies including units of Cigna and HCSC, two of the largest healthcare businesses in the U.S.

This is not just a statement about MDLive but the industry overall,” said Rich Berner, who took over as CEO in January. “Obviously we’re excited to get the funds ... but this is a statement that our existing clients [and investors] have seen the good, the bad and ugly, and they’ve seen the outcome of our service and the results. They recognize that for the future of healthcare, more care will be provided this way.”

San Francisco-based Health Velocity Capital, a multimillion-dollar investment group, led the new funding round. Other investors included Denmark-based Novo Holdings A/S and San Francisco-based Industry Ventures. MDLive has now raised more than $125 million in outside investment since 2014.

Founded in 2009 by entrepreneur Randy Parker, MDLive now employs more than 300 workers, making it one of the largest tech companies in South Florida. The company announced in May that it had surpassed 1 million virtual health visits, and counts 27 million individuals with access to the platform. Patients have access to three primary areas of care: non-severe illnesses like colds and coughs, mental health, and dermatology.

Berner said virtual health is helping the healthcare industry address rising costs and improve access. The key challenge for companies like MDLive, he said, is increasing awareness of the platform and its benefits. He said MDLive plans to use the new funds to boost user growth and improve the digital experience for both doctors and patients. MDLive recently launched Sophie, an artificially intelligent chatbot that allows customers to ask questions and receive prompt replies without having to wait for a live customer service rep.

Berner says MDLive is committed to growing in South Florida, which he said has a wealth of diversity both in terms of skilled labor and ethnic backgrounds. MDLive currently shows 23 job openings across a variety of fields, all located in Sunrise.