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Here's all you need to know about Rishi Shah, the newest self-made billionaire in Chicago

Rishi Shah has become Tech's newest billionaire

India TV Buzz Desk, New Delhi [ Updated: June 15, 2017 12:35 IST ]
rishi shah billionaire entrepreneur chicago
Rishi Shah

Rishi Shah, an Indian-American, who grew up in the Chicago suburb of Oak Brook, is the son of a doctor who emigrated from India. quit college 10 years back to pursue entrepreneurial dreams. Well, it seems like his dream has come true. He has become tech's newest billionaire. His business partner, Shradha Agarwal, is close behind. Shah’s mother managed his father’s medical practice. The initial idea for a company providing content to doctor's offices was inspired by his sister, Shah said in an interview to local media.

Rishi attended Northwestern University as a transfer student, where he met a woman named Shradha Agarwal, now Outcome's president. Both were originally working on a campus magazine and while doing that they eventually founded a company called ContextMedia, out of Northwestern in 2008, funding it by taking loans that have over the years reached a combined USD 325 million instead of giving up equity. Knocking on doctor's office doors around the Chicago area, the two found little appetite for their idea. Some doctors didn't see the value in digital education in their offices; others who did wanted to see revenue to feel comfortable committing to such a fledgling product. Without signing them, however, the entrepreneurs had no revenue with which to placate them. They eked out $1 million in revenue that first year. "Then we were off to the races. We had to build a profitable business, or at least a break-even business, from scratch. We had no margin of error." Says Shah.

Over the next decade, the company grew and big-time investors noticed, but Shah and Agarwal passed up offers in order to scale organically and retain ownership. In January, the company changed its name to Outcome Health as it slowly pushed towards its first major round of funding

Their windfall came with a USD 600 million infusion of venture capital into Outcome Health, the Chicago health care tech company which they founded in 2006. It's now valued at USD 5.6 billion.

"My sister has type 1 diabetes. If she gets on an insulin pump and she is able to achieve better blood sugar control and she is checking her blood sugar more effectively, the device manufacturer wins, the insulin manufacturer wins, the blood glucometer wins, the doctor wins, but the payor wins most of all. And she wins personally." Shah said in an interview.

Outcome Health is not only the newest unicorn company, having earned the honour just last week, but it is also already valued in the top 30 on the list of roughly 200 non-public companies worth $1 billion.

Outcome Health helps both patients and doctors by providing touch screen monitors to hospitals and health care offices around the country. The company installs large, interactive video boards that allow physicians to better explain a patient's current health care needs or problems using video, graphics and interactive visual aids. It also utilises specialised software to assist physicians and patients for everything from treatment decisions to medical warning signs. Outcome Health often provides its services to medical providers for free. The company makes most of its money from insurance providers, drug makers, health care marketers and pharmaceutical companies.

According to one of the company's online testimonials, Neil Baum, a New Orleans-based urologist, cut the time it takes him to explain a common urological procedure from 12 minutes to less than five minutes with Outcome Health's Digital Anatomy Board.

According to Crain's, the company took in more than $130 million in revenue last year and posted an operating profit margin of roughly 40%. Outcome Health doubled its revenue in each of the last two years, and it also grew with its acquisition of Accent Health last November.

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