While many early-stage tech founders look for venture capital investors to help fund the early years of company growth, few find a partner who is truly invested for the long-term. That relationship revealed itself for InTouch Health founder Yulun Wang over the course of 16 years alongside venture investor Beringea, whose patient investment approach paid off in 2020 with the $1+ billion sale of the company to Teladoc Health, Inc. (NYSE: TDOC) and a more than 10X return on invested capital.
Wang, now the Head of Research and Development for Teladoc Health, remembers being attracted to Beringea initially due to an alignment of vision and a compatibility of personalities.
“The partners I worked with at Beringea through the years believed in the opportunity InTouch Health represented and were able to add value through the years with strategic advice and networks. It’s really what you hope for as an entrepreneur.”
Beringea’s initial investment, in 2004, and associated board seat meant that they helped guide the company’s slight pivots over the years, as markets caught up to the product and demand better matched supply. “A famous venture investor once said, to paraphrase: ‘It’s easy to identify a disruptive technology but it’s hard to know how fast the market will adopt it,’ so having a patient investor to work through that and wait it out is really important. I hoped telemedicine would have taken off sooner, but it didn’t and that’s what made for the long investment.”
Wang has moved into his new role at Teladoc Health, where he continues to advocate for remote healthcare delivery, a cause he finds particularly urgent in a pandemic-prone world. As for advice to founders behind him evaluating funding partners, he urges entrepreneurs to find partners who can adapt as you grow the business, even if it takes you in unexpected directions. After all, you never know how long the marriage between investor and founder might last.