Avante, a new startup based in Seattle, has successfully raised $10 million in seed funding, led by Fuse Venture Partners. This ambitious company aims to enhance the lives of millions. Its executive chairman is Kabir Shahani, previously the CEO of another Seattle-based marketing tech company, Amperity. Avante’s team also includes Rohan D’Souza as CEO, who was the former chief product officer at Olive AI, and Carly Eckert, MD, Ph.D., an epidemiologist and former executive vice president at Olive AI, serving as Avante’s head of product and data science.
Kellan Carter from Fuse Venture Partners will be joining the Avante board of directors, with additional funding contributions from Ascend.vc, HighSage Ventures, and various angel investors. Avante is currently operating in stealth mode and has been vague about its specific plans. D’Souza and Shahani have directed media inquiries to an external PR representative.
The company, formally named Avante Health Inc., is described in a state registration filing as an “employee intelligence platform.” Avante is actively recruiting for roles including a founding data scientist and UX designer, aiming to build a company focused on fostering healthier workforces. They target a market worth over $1 trillion, aiming to address widespread problems affecting companies and individuals across America by using artificial intelligence and other technologies.
Earlier job postings indicated a focus on enhancing employee wellbeing through advanced analytics and behavior change, although these specifics have since been removed from the public job listings.
D’Souza has mentioned that the company, having interacted with potential customers and stakeholders, sees a substantial opportunity to positively impact millions of lives and make a significant economic impact for its clients. Nick Cecil, a former Salesforce director of software engineering, leads Avante’s engineering efforts. The company plans to significantly expand its core development team in the coming year.
This $10 million funding is notably large for a seed round, especially in the current tight startup funding climate in Seattle and other major tech hubs. Carter from Fuse noted that their decision to invest in Avante was influenced by the company’s understanding of the problem, its technical approach, and the experienced team led by D’Souza and Shahani.
Shahani’s departure from Amperity in February 2022 followed the company’s achievement of “unicorn” status, valued at over $1 billion. Amperity, like many tech startups, has faced several rounds of layoffs since then. Shahani, together with CTO Derek Slager, founded Amperity in 2016 after selling their previous startup, Appature, to IMS Health in 2013. Slager continues to serve as CTO at Amperity.