Olive Adding 100 Jobs in Columbus as AI Bot for Healthcare Takes Off

By February 25, 2019 June 25th, 2019 News

Fueled by fast-growing sales of its AI-powered ‘bot and a $33 million venture capital infusion, Olive plans to add 100 tech jobs in the next two years to a base of 75 in Columbus.

The high-paying jobs include “skilled software and robotic process automation engineers,” according to the state Development Services Agency. Other hires will be in product management, marketing, sales and customer support, Columbus 2020 said.

Total payroll is projected to hit $10.6 million, the state said in a report for one of four Central Ohio incentive deals approved Monday.

After several up-and-down years, the former CrossChx Inc. went all in on Olive last year, shutting down or selling off all its earlier technology products. I left a message seeking comment.

The software robot guided by artificial intelligence automates high-volume, repetitive healthcare administrative tasks such as scheduling and checking insurance eligibility. Sales topped $10 million as large hospital systems signed on, including Columbus’ OhioHealth Corp. and Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

The Ohio Tax Credit Authority on Monday approved an eight-year, 2.2 percent tax credit based on net new payroll for a pledge to create 100 jobs by the end of 2021. The incentive would be worth $1.6 million over the life of the deal if it creates all the planned jobs and meets other terms, including operating in the state for at least 11 more years.

Olive also considered Tennessee and Maryland for the expansion, the state agency said. CEO Sean Lane moved from Baltimore to his native Ohio to start the business in 2013, and Nashville is a hub for some of the nation’s largest healthcare companies.

Olive had passed 100 workers by year’s end. Usually companies are hiring while still negotiating incentive packages.

As CrossChx, the company grew to 120 employees in 2016, but the following January eliminated several jobs. It hit a low of about 60 employees in spring 2017, and then climbed to nearly 80 by the end of that year.

The company has collected $70,000 under a 2015 downtown office incentive with the city of Columbus, according to City Council records. That deal, running through 2020, had called for growing to 100 jobs at 99 E. Main St. It’s been paid based on total payroll in 2016 and 2017; incentives for 2018 performance will be calculated in June.

Among other tax credits the state approved Monday: