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Elion, a digital health technology marketplace, comes out of hiding with $3.3M in seed funding led by NEA and Max Ventures, the parties tell this exclusively to Axios.

Why is this important: An explosion of digital health infrastructure software is making it increasingly difficult for startups — and incumbents — to determine which vendors are best suited for their needs. Elion aims to be a central marketplace to help software buyers make decisions with confidence and speed.

The goal: “Help people build better businesses faster,” says CEO Bobby Guelich, who incubated Elion alongside NEA’s Lily Huang and Max Ventures’ Matthew Weinberg.

Details: 8VC, AlleyCorp, Charge Ventures and Floating Point participated in the funding alongside various founders and healthcare angels.

How it works: Guelich characterizes Elion as a taxonomy. It defines and categorizes digital health providers and labels them with each of their use cases, addressing the lack of consistency around common product terminology.

  • This market map, now made up of a few hundred sellers, allows buyers to easily search, discover and compare different solutions.
  • Sellers should like it too, adds Huang: “The noise of the market doesn’t essentially help them sell what they really should be used for.
  • Elion also develops content to educate people to better evaluate suppliers.

Between the lines: It’s not just startups that are overwhelmed with purchasing decisions.

  • More mature players looking to offload internal technology burdens or costs want to leverage third-party software vendors, while legacy institutional systems are eager to go earlier and be more experimental, Weinberg says.
  • Elion, by helping all buyers adopt technology more effectively, can be “the catalyst that can modernize the healthcare industry,” Weinberg said.
  • “There is no clear history for our digital health space,” adds Huang. “I would like Elion to earn the right to be that historian so that we can basically help others make their decisions for the future.”

The backstory: The founding members of Elion have all addressed this pain point in one way or another – Guelich first-hand and Huang and Weinberg as early-stage digital health investors.

  • Guelich, for his part, is an early executive and former business builder at Oscar Health and TrialSpark.

Enlarge: Guelich, Huang and Weinberg argue that existing resources for entrepreneurs are limited and not scalable.

  • Currently, software buyers are paying for expensive research reports, reaching out to industry contacts and friends, googling, brainstorming questions in huge slackgroups, and asking their investors for help, say The founders.

Yes so: Elion monetizes the sell side, with the belief that they too will see the benefits.

  • The marketplace gives vendors the ability to better market themselves and capture leads through the platform, Guelich says.

What they say : “If you’re starting a healthcare business these days, arguably most technology should be pieces that you basically buy off the shelf and integrate – instead of investing and building yourself” , says Guelich.