Norwest Equity Partners Invests $50M in Tech Co.

The middle-market investment firm separately announced that it has acquired Boothwyn, Pennsylvania-based health care company Pentech Holdings, Inc.

Minneapolis-based Norwest Equity Partners (NEP) said Tuesday that it has made a $50 million equity investment in Chicago-based technology company GoHealth.

The investment represents a minority position in the health insurance quote provider.

GoHealth operates a website, GoHealthInsurance.com, through which consumers can shop, compare, and purchase health coverage either on the Web or through a licensed agent. The platform allows them to view benefits and rates side-by-side and filter plan preferences, like company, coverage type, and the cost of the premium, deductible, and copayments.

The company currently works with 100-plus health insurance carriers, and more than 10,000 licensed agents use the platform. It has 165 full-time employees.

GoHealth was founded in 2001 as Norvax, Inc. According to NEP, GoHealth founders—CEO Clint Jones and President Brandon Cruz—created what was the health insurance industry’s first “multi-carrier quote engine.”

“On behalf of the NEP partnership, we are excited about our investment in GoHealth and our partnership with Clint and Brandon,” NEP Partner Tom Schauerman said in a statement. “Together, they have built GoHealth from the ground up, delivered leading-edge products and Web marketing tools, and broadened customer initiatives. They are well-poised for continued growth and success.”

In addition to announcing the GoHealth investment, NEP separately announced Tuesday that it has acquired Boothwyn, Pennsylvania-based Pentech Holdings, Inc.—which is commonly referred to as Pentec. NEP bought the company from Park City, Utah-based private equity firm DW Healthcare Partners, Seattle-based venture capital firm Frazier Healthcare, and Pentec management. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. DW Healthcare said in a press release that it will retain a minority interest in Pentec.

Pentec provides nutritional therapies for patients suffering from chronic renal failure and other complex therapies for patients with intrathecal pumps—which are used to deliver small quantities of medications directly to the area surrounding a person’s spinal cord. The company employs nearly 300.

“This investment is a testament to NEP’s health care investment strategy of partnering with profitable and growing companies with strong business models and management teams,” NEP Director and Pentec board member Jason Sondell said in a statement. “With its unmatched capabilities, therapies, and services, Pentec is poised to continue to grow both organically through increased penetration within its growing markets, and through acquisitions of companies in both existing and adjacent markets.”

NEP was founded in the early 1960s and invests in midsize companies. It manages $5 billion of capital through a series of equity and investment funds, and it’s currently investing NEP IX, which has $1.2 billion in capital. Roundy’s Supermarkets, language software company Rosetta Stone, and specialty chemicals distributor Univar are among the companies in NEP’s portfolio.