Healwell AI invests $2.7 million CAD into Elon Musk’s xAI to tap into company’s expertise, resources

Healwell AI
Healwell CEO touts access to xAI’s closed developer program as big potential benefit.

Toronto-based healthtech and artificial intelligence (AI) firm Healwell AI has made an indirect $2.7-million CAD ($2-million USD) investment into Elon Musk’s AI venture, xAI

Healwell made the investment through Think 1st Principles (T1P), the “Muskonomy” arm (Elon Musk-oriented fund) of the Agostinelli Family Office, founded by Healwell shareholder and strategic advisor Massimo Agostinelli. Healwell said that this investment gives it access to the closed xAI Developer Program, allowing it to leverage xAI’s AI-oriented technical expertise and resources, including large-language models (LLM) Healwell says have the potential to enhance its product development efforts.

Healwell said that LLMs “fine-tuned” with xAI could be paired with its own LLMs.

Healwell CEO Alexander Dobranowski told BetaKit that the investment is “a prudent use of capital” with a strong likelihood of a significant return on investment, but highlights access to the developer program as perhaps the most important benefit of the investment. 

“This strategic investment marks a significant opportunity for Healwell and provides a privileged position in one of the world’s best capitalized and most ambitious AI companies,” Dobranowski said in a statement. “In addition, access to the closed xAI developer ecosystem provides meaningful opportunity for the Healwell team to leverage the best-in-class talent and resources at xAI.”

The investment is part of xAI’s $6-billion USD Series B round, which closed last month at a post-money valuation of $24 billion. The firm is one of many playing catchup with OpenAI, which is valued at $86 billion, according to Crunchbase. xAI’s backers include Valor Equity Partners, Vy Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, Fidelity Management, and more. 

The company was founded in July 2023 and developed the Grok chatbot, which is offered through Musk’s social media platform X (formerly Twitter). Healwell said that LLMs “fine-tuned” in the xAI ecosystem could be paired with its own fine-tuned LLMs, and the company claims that such models could be useful for scientific and clinical inquiry.

Founded in 2012, Healwell once operated numerous clinics as well as an innovation arm focused on developing healthcare software products under its former name MCI Onehealth. The company went public on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 2019 before deciding to divest from its clinical business and narrow its focus to AI and data science last year.  

Since its rebrand to Healwell in October 2023, the company has made several acquisitions, most recently picking up Fredericton, N.B.-based health data platform VeroSource Solutions and Toronto-based contract research organization BioPharma Services. Healwell claims that once both transactions close, it expects its own annualized revenue run rate to exceed $65 million.

RELATED: Healwell AI accelerates M&A strategy with acquisitions of VeroSource Solutions and BioPharma Services

A pair of analyst reports Healwell shared with BetaKit on the company’s investment in xAI view the deal positively. Clarus Securities’ George Ulybyshev and Noel Atkinson wrote that they expect access to xAI’s closed developer program to give Healwell “an opportunity to enhance and accelerate its healthcare AI and data science capabilities by fine-tuning [LLMs] and using xAI’s unique datasets.”

Ventum Capital Markets analyst Rob Goff anticipates that Healwell will benefit from accessing AI leaders and tools through xAI, which he noted focuses on “enhancing model explainability.” 

“This detailed understanding of how complex AI models make decisions is crucial in healthcare and will provide Healwell with a distinct advantage,” Goff wrote.

With files from Josh Scott.

Feature image courtesy of Healwell AI.

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl is a staff writer and newsletter curator at BetaKit with a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University. He's interested in tech, gaming, and sports. You can find out more about him at alexriehl.com or @RiehlAlex99 on Twitter.

0 replies on “Healwell AI invests $2.7 million CAD into Elon Musk’s xAI to tap into company’s expertise, resources”