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D.A. Wallach

Cofounder, Inevitable Ventures

DA Wallach is different from other disruptors — he’s a serial investor. The 31-year-old musician (his former band Chester French was on Pharrell’s label) has invested in everything from SpaceX to PopChips to Spotify. In fact, he served as the latter’s artist-in-residence from 2011-2015, traveling the country with Napster founder Sean Parker and convincing artists to stream their music on the now ubiquitous platform.

“But then I started to feel Spotify had achieved its major goals,” Wallach says. “That streaming had taken over, as both the Spotify team and I predicted it would, and music culture was on the right trajectory… I did my part for that industry and now want to dedicate my energies to more deeply impacting people’s lives.”

For Wallach, that meant cashing out of Spotify in 2015 to focus on the $3 trillion dollar healthcare industry — one even our brightest politicians can’t figure out.

“Healthcare is a business like anything else,” he explains. “Their startups need financing and investing, too. And if that’s where I can have the largest impact, that’s where I want to be.”

One rockstar's dream of disrupting the healthcare industry

D.A. Wallach - Co-Founder, Inevitable Ventures; Early Investor, Spotify

“I’m a musician. Musicians are drawn to beauty. And what could be more beautiful, more elegant than biology? Than the human immune system? Or genetics? I don’t think those worlds are as separate as people think. Even music — what makes a person like a song — boils down to neuroscience.”

Was it a tough transition from music?

“The issues facing consumer healthcare are nearly infinite. But the biggest problem is that our medical technology is still pretty primitive. We barely understand how biological systems work — how to monitor and intervene when they’re threatened… And​ we have such a poor understanding of illnesses, like cancer, that kill so many of us. I want to facilitate the development of decisive cures for the diseases that afflict us most.”

And what made you want to change?

D.A. Wallach - Co-Founder, Inevitable Ventures; Early Investor, Spotify
Musicians are drawn to beauty. And what could be more beautiful, more elegant than biology?”

“There’s also a clear misalignment of interests across the industry. Patients, providers, payers — specifically insurance companies — all want something different. In other words, your insurance company, which foots the bill, is seeking to cut costs. But your doctor is often paid for providing more services. And you as the patient just want to be as healthy as you possibly can.”

“This is changing around the margins as more and more health systems take on financial risk in caring for their patients, thereby incentivizing them to economize costs and maximize outcomes… but it is a slow progression. I’m frustrated that the current inefficiencies and structural irrationalities are the result of neglect by generations of policymakers and corporations in the space.”

What else motivates you?

“​I’m merely an investor in the companies I’m supporting. Sure, I try to move the needle for them whenever I’m able… but all credit belongs to the founders who are dedicating their lives to these projects. What I can say is that these companies need capital and financing just like any other startup. There’s a lot [investors] can do to make things better.”

What can you — a musician, not a doctor — do?

D.A. Wallach - Co-Founder, Inevitable Ventures; Early Investor, Spotify

“I got involved with the app in 2014, totally inspired by the idea that you could video chat with medical professionals whenever, wherever… It’s so simple. Because one of the most common things we see today is people who go to urgent care when they don’t need to — who go to the emergency room with an eye infection or a cold. Doctors on Demand connects you to a physician within 30 seconds, accepts people’s insurance and prevents the clogging of overly-expensive emergency rooms.”

Talk to us about Doctors on Demand.

“I love what Picnic Health and WiserCare are doing: putting patients at the center of their own care.​ There’s a tragic surplus of paternalism in the medical establishment, and I love seeing that subverted. Picnic Health enables users to easily aggregate medical records — everything from X-ray imaging to a visit’s notes — from all of their doctors. WiserCare empowers patients through information.” [As shown in the video below.]

What other medical disruptions are you supporting?

“That an investment’s success is only monetary. I measure success by my ability to change lives.”

What's your greatest takeaway?

Visit Inevitable Ventures, the venture capital fund he co-founded with billionaire Ron Burkle. You can also follow DA on Facebook and Twitter.


To learn more about DA's investments...


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