Outcome Health’s Path: From A Northwestern Classroom To The Courtroom

By Ally Marotti
Chicago Tribune

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) More than decade ago, Outcome Health CEO Rishi Shah and a friend, Derek Moeller, hatched a plan for a health information and advertising startup called ContextMedia while students at Northwestern University. The concept: Partner with organizations that could create educational content, install screens in doctors’ offices and waiting rooms to play that content, and sell ad space to pharmaceutical companies or ad agencies. In October, The Wall Street Journal ran a story that said employees had misled advertising clients regarding the ads’ performance. An investor lawsuit followed.

Chicago Tribune

On a Sunday morning a few weeks ago, Outcome Health CEO Rishi Shah walked out of a multimillion-dollar home on Chicago’s North Side and was greeted by a process server with court papers about an investor lawsuit alleging fraud. Shah ran to a waiting black Cadillac Escalade, jumped in and shut the door.

The process server placed the documents on the Escalade’s roof, jumped in his own car and followed Shah’s vehicle. Both drivers stopped in traffic and lowered their windows. “I told the driver that the pleadings and subpoena were on his roof and that his passenger, Mr. Shah, was served,” according to an affidavit the process server filed with New York County Supreme Court.

Just a few months ago, Outcome Health was considered a bright star shining on Chicago’s tech scene. Having attracted a handful of high-profile investors early this year, the company’s valuation rose to about $5.5 billion, and it secured a coveted spot among the local tech unicorns valued at more than $1 billion.

The 31-year-old Shah landed on the Forbes 400 ranking of richest Americans in October, with a net worth of $3.6 billion. Shah and Outcome Health President Shradha Agarwal, who’ve acted as investors and mentors to other tech companies, stood next to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel at a press conference in September announcing a hiring push and a new headquarters to help accommodate the growth.

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