Meet Venture Leader Michel Mohler, CFO of Lyfegen. Lyfegen is a global software platform that helps reduce the cost of drugs by enabling value-based contracting. With this platform, health insurance, governments, and pharma companies can negotiate, implement and manage value-based contracts efficiently and at scale, to increase access and affordability of life-saving therapies. Michel will join nine other tech innovators on the Venture Leader Technology roadshow in Silicon Valley.
Name: Michel Mohler
Location: Basel, Switzerland
Education: University of Basel, Master of Arts in Business and Economics, 2011
Job title: CFO
Number of employees: 25
Money raised: CHF 10 million
First touchpoint with Venturelab: Venture Leaders Technology 2023
How did you come up with the idea for your startup?
The three founders of Lyfegen were working at Roche and UBS when a family was looking to crowdfund USD 2.1 million to finance the potentially lifesaving therapy of their newborn baby. The baby was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a gene defect by birth that gave her just a few years to live. We were shocked that even in wealthy Switzerland many patients do not get access to drugs and therapies despite paying health premiums and taxes. We had to take action.
The idea of aligning the price with the achieved outcomes goes back to Michael Porter two centuries ago. But the right tool to tackle the administrational hurdles, establish a secure, compliant, and scalable process, and increase the knowledge about how to structure the agreements was lacking.
Whom does your product or solution help, and how?
Actors in the pharma sectors get quicker access to markets, increased sales, and access to valuable health and sales data. Payers only pay in case of success. Inefficient treatments are not reimbursed, reducing waste.
In addition, payers get access to health data to decrease information asymmetry with the manufacturer, understand the effectiveness of drugs, and align this value with the price. Even though they are not our direct customers, patients will benefit most as they are given access to the drug because a reimbursement agreement is in place. In addition, the outcomes are key for the reimbursement and thus incentives are aligned between all stakeholders. Lyfegen acts as a neutral third party and ensures an efficient, secure, and data privacy-compliant process.
What market are you addressing and what is the potential of your startup in that market?
We are addressing a challenge that is present in all markets around the globe. Pharmaceutical products become more personalized and promise a cure with just one injection at a high price with an uncertain outcome.
With our networking platform, we aim to become the standard platform for all these agreements globally.
How do you think the Venture Leaders roadshow will help you achieve your vision?
The US market is the biggest healthcare market in the world and new therapies are launched in the US first. We are working on our first US implementation as we speak. On the Venture Leaders roadshow we want to meet new investors and partners and convince them of our team, market, and product. Being in the spotlight of the famous Swiss Venturelab team certainly helps as well.
What excites you most about your work right now?
In the first phase, we were very focused on the product and technology. We filed a patent and tested the platform with several large customers in various markets. Now, we are scaling up and hiring talent in sales, customer success, marketing, and business development. This growth is very exciting, and I’m very proud to work in a team full of superstars.
“At Lyfegen, we apply a can-do mindset to everything. We explore all possibilities together as a team and use our diverse backgrounds and mentalities to solve challenges.”
How did you go about building your team?
For us most important are the values. We are hiring for attitude first and then growing together on the challenges that no one has tackled before. This hiring philosophy has led us to an international team of over 25 talents that are based in over 11 countries and combine more than 14 nationalities rowing all in the same direction.
Lyfegen’s founders: Girisha Fernando (CEO), Michel Mohler (CFO), and Nico Mros (CXO)
What are your team’s key achievements to date?
We’ve acquired over 20 happy customers in various markets and built a highly innovative, patent-pending platform that creates enormous value for our users. We also raised CHF 10 million from international Venture Funds such as aMoon and Apex Ventures.
How did you come up with the name of your startup?
Lyfegen is the combination of Life Science and Genesis. We are changing the way drugs and therapies are being priced. These new value-based agreements are the genesis of the new business model within the life science industry. The “y” replaced the “i” as it makes the name look more tech-“y”.
Is there a key principle or value that guides you as you build your company?
All of our 10 values are absolutely key to our success. Picking one is not easy, but I think this is a very important one: “We explore yes, before no.” At Lyfegen, we apply a can-do mindset to everything. We explore all possibilities together as a team and use our diverse backgrounds and mentalities to solve challenges.
What is the most rewarding aspect of being a founder?
We are now in our fifth year and, still, every day, there is something new that comes up that I have never done before. So, it is a constant learning opportunity; you never know what your day is going to be like.
What is your favorite movie or TV show and why?
Bond, James Bond. Spectacular places, always dressed perfectly, equipped with the fanciest gadgets and vehicles, and works with charming team members to save the world with English humor….
What is one thing everyone should try at least once?
Pack your ten most important things in a backpack and book a one-way ticket to the first place that comes to your mind. Start discovering new places and get to know people from all over the globe without any concrete plan in mind.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
The Venture Leaders Technology 2023 were chosen from over 150 applications by a jury of investors and technology experts. The roadshow in Silicon Valley, one of the world’s most important tech hubs, provides a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to accelerate their startups’ expansion in the US while expanding their professional network and profiting from workshops with investors and industry leaders. This year’s Venture Leaders Technology is co-organized by Venturelab and supported by Canton of Vaud, Canton of Zürich, EPFL, ETH Zürich, Kellerhals Carrard, and Rothschild & Co.
We are a Swiss-based international healthcare technology company with a breakthrough solution to accelerate value-based healthcare. Our patent-pending platform collects, analyzes and reconciles dispar… Read more