Lionel Richie Is Dancing On The Ceiling Over LA Startup Heal
Lionel Richie, the former front man for the Commodores and multi Grammy winning solo artist says he prefers investing in startups over Tennis. TechCrunch first reported Saturday (with their own cheesy references to the performer’s music), that Richie claims tech and investing titans Elon Musk and Yuri Milner as friends, which is how he got into startup tech investing.
“Yuri is my entrée,” Richie told me. “Yuri is the one who got me with the bug… I find that when I speak to him he has one one more fascinating thing to tell me after another.”
Milner turned him onto startups. A Los Angeles healthcare startup called Heal, caught his eye. Heal users use a mobile app to summon a doctor for a house call, like Uber for house calls.
Growing up in Tuskegee Alabama, Richie was accustomed to a tighter knit community of doctors, doctors who made house calls.
“If you’re born and raised in Alabama in a small, tight-knit community, you know all the doctors, you know all the nurses… No one said meet me at the office at 8 o clock in the morning and wait.” Richie told TechCrunch.com
Once he heard about the idea Richie met with founder Nick Desai who explained how the technology and logistics worked, he was sold. The investment was first reported by CNBC back in March. Heal closed a $55 million dollar round which also included Qualcomm Executive Chairman Paul Jacobs, Thomas Tull, and Rish Tandon the former general manager of mobile apps for Amazon.
Richie, who is based in Los Angeles, is impressed by the ever-growing startup ecosystem there. Startups aren’t just in Silicon Valley anymore (we knew that already). He plans on making more investments into startups. TechCrunch reports that he was an early investor in Microsoft.