Oscar Health has excelled at one thing in particular since its inception a decade ago: burning cash.
The health insurance company did not plan to be profitable immediately. It was staking its future on the new Affordable Care Act marketplaces and had to grow quickly to compete with larger insurance carriers. Oscar organized its health insurance product through an app, promoted virtual care, advertised on New York subways, and then low-balled prices in certain markets to attract young, healthy people to sign up for its ACA plans.
Oscar raised $1.6 billion just in venture capital, but that money is gone, and with no return to show for it yet. Oscar went public in 2021 and currently sits at $3 per share, giving it a market cap of about $700 million — less than half of that venture capital haul.
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