An Unhealthy Funding Event

May 14 2014, 12:53pm CDT | by

Ahh. One’s gotta love the yin-yang of it all. Today, the Twitter trumpet Launchticker touted the $80M round of financing for Oscar Health Insurance, founded by New Jerseyan Joshua Kushner of Thrive Capital who’s the brother of Jared Kushner, owner of the NY Observer and husband of Ivanka Trump, daughter of The Donald, the perennial faux GOP presidential candidate…but I digress.

Oscar Health Insurance, founded by @JoshuaKushner, raises $80M round @ $800M valuation

— launchticker (@launchticker) May 14, 2014

Separately but not unrelatedly, the investigative team at PandoDaily revealed:

“This past weekend, Pando has been reporting on the rapidly growing scandal over New Jersey handing millions of dollars of public pension money to VC firm General Catalyst after a partner in the firm, Charles Baker, made a sizable donation to governor Chris Christie’s state party.”

Apparently, after receiving a $1o,000 campaign donation to the NJ GOP State Committee from Mr. Baker who happens to be the GOP Gubernatorial candidate in Massachusetts, the Christie Administration moved its pension funds into the Mr. Baker’s company’s venture fund, earmarked specifically for Mulberry Health, the parent company of Oscar Health Insurance on whose boards Mr. Baker sits.  From Pando:

“According to documents filed with the New York State Department of Finance and obtained by Pando, the private equity partnership General Catalyst Group VI “has 2.60% of the voting control” of Mulberry Health, which, according to the same documents, is the parent company of Oscar Insurance. Securities and Exchange Commission documents show that Baker is on the board of Mulberry Health, while General Catalyst’s website notes that Baker also serves on Oscar Insurance’s board.”

Just as Mr. Kushner is touting the funding of Oscar Health Insurance, giving it a valuation of $800 million, the company finds itself in a rather sticky wicket, which was not lost on the Boston Globe in its piece today titled “Baker oversaw firm where pension funds were invested.”

Happy to see The Globe credit Pando for its reporting:

“The technology news website PandoDaily first reported Tuesday on the connection between the New Jersey funds and Oscar, where Baker serves as director. The website last week brought to light Baker’s donation to Christie and the New Jersey pension fund’s subsequent commitment to Baker’s firm.”

Maybe there’s a new state motto in the pipeline:

“New Jersey: Its Corruption Is Infectious”


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