Digital mental health startup Ginger just closed a $100M funding round on the heels of its biggest growth year yet: tripling revenue in 2020, bringing its employer-client count to 500, and expanding to offer its services to more than 30 integrated health systems and health plans. CEO Russ Glass updates us on what’s next for the company now that it, too, has joined the $1-Billion-Plus club of digital mental health startups.
In a space where competitors are well-capitalized and poised to scale (Don’t forget: Talkspace awaits it’s SPAC IPO, Lyra Health has raised a whopping $475M, and others like Happify Health and Modern Health have just soared past $100M in total funding) Ginger plans to stand apart with a value-based care approach that offers employers a single-priced, fixed fee that gives employees access to Ginger’s entire spectrum of care. Launched during the pandemic, more than 60% of Ginger’s new employer clients have opted for this approach in effort to improve both the quality and cost of care offered to their employees. We dig in to hear more about this model and hear Russ’s predictions for how the supply-and-demand imbalance in mental health will continue to impact us (and the digital mental health market) as the pandemic wans.
On Episode 193 of Health in 2 Point 00, we have another huge day! We catch up on Amazon’s telehealth news before covering more massive deals. Evidation gets $153 million, bringing their total to a whopping $259 million and Komodo Health gets $220 million, bringing their total to $319 million. Bigfoot Biomedical raises $53 million for Type 1 diabetes care, and Glooko raises $30 million for their management system primarily working with diabetes clinics. —Matthew Holt
Today on Health in 2 Point 00, we’re back with more deals as promised for our post St-Patty’s episode. On Episode 192, Jess and I have lots to chat about because Glen Tullman is back—he becomes the CEO of Transcarent, a new company which is going direct to employers and doing navigation and telehealth and centers of excellence. Despite the crowded space (especially after this week’s Doctor on Demand and Grand Rounds merger), Glen says there is huge demand from employers. Catch our interview with him on WTF Health. Next, Happify Health gets $75 million, bringing their total up to $123 million. I had an interview with their President Ofer Leidner on THCB Spotlight yesterday, so tune in there to find out about this mental health company delivering automated, self-service care. Finally, two remote patient monitoring companies get funding – 100Plus gets $25 million in a Series A, and Health Recovery Solutions gets $70 million in a C. How are these different and why is there all this money in RPM now? —Matthew Holt
As if one consumer digital health company with an $18.5B exit wasn’t enough, Livongo founder Glen Tullman has decided to give the transformation of healthcare another go – this time as Executive Chairman & CEO of Transcarent. Matthew Holt and I sit down with Glen to hear about the “new kind of experience” that Transcarent is offering self-insured employers and their employees: one focused on providing unbiased information, guidance for accessing high-value healthcare, and an at-risk model that promises to share back the financial benefits associated with better healthcare decision-making.
Could you consider Transcarent an aggregator, a healthcare navigator-PLUS, or is it more like a next-gen health plan that does everything but process claims? Glen talks about how his team was “asked” to jump into providing a better experience for this kind of healthcare service, details what the company needs next, and explains the role of Bridge Health, which merged with Transcarent in October 2020 when the company closed its $44M Series A. Familiar investors, General Catalyst and Glen’s own 7Wire Ventures, have led the funding for Transcarent and we find out if there will be any additional support from the Health Assurance Acquisition Corporation (the SPAC that Glen launched in partnership with General Catalyst’s Hemant Taneja and others) that could potentially provide a vehicle for taking the business public. And, what about Teladoc Health? With a seat on TDOC’s Board, does Transcarent’s commitment to offering “unbiased” direction to the best possible healthcare put Glen into a conflict of interest? This is one catch-up chat you’re not going to want to miss!
Today on Health in 2 Point 00, it’s St. Patrick’s Day and to top off your green beer we’ve got plenty of green money. First up on Episode 191, the news we’ve been waiting for: Doctor on Demand and Grand Rounds merge. No SPAC here, but this is a real harbinger for the future. Strive Health raises $140 million – this is Google money, looking to reinvent chronic kidney disease care. Social determinants of health startup Unite Us raises $150 million, integrating social services into medical records to address the social determinants. Finally Clarify Health raises $115 million working with population health data for drug companies, hospitals, and health plans. —Matthew Holt
Today on Health in 2 Point 00, primary care appears to have jumped the shark because there is a deal in this episode in which the investors on the round are probably Jess’s favorite group of investors ever. Forward Health raises $225 million in a Series D – there’s Softbank money in this round as well as The Weeknd – but why didn’t they just go public? Patient billing company Cedar raises $200 million, bringing their valuation up to $3.2 billion, although I’m not too impressed by the concept. Finally, Babylon is making inroads into the U.S. from the U.K., buying a California-based provider group. —Matthew Holt
Oh Baby! Connected digital nursery startup, Owlet Baby Care, just announced their SPAC IPO and intention to take their infant smart sock from baby monitor to FDA-approved medical device. I talk with Owlet’s co-founder & CEO, Kurt Workman, to find out why the baby health tech company (which has raised $48M in venture funding) has decided to take the business public in order to pursue its plans for growth as a pediatric healthcare company caring for baby “from conception to kindergarten.” Kurt gets into the details behind the work Owlet’s team is doing now to get their device FDA-approved in two different ways, and how they’re using Livongo Health’s remote monitoring/data analytics/telehealth model as a precedent for pursuing health insurance reimbursement. There may be lots of market skepticism out there about wearables – particularly socks, and especially with infants – but this deep-dive into Owlet’s vision for data-driven parenting provides a pretty compelling vision for both better and more cost-effective baby care, and the bonus of a better night’s sleep for new parents. Owlet’s calling it an $81 BILLION DOLLAR addressable market, and Kurt believes that it stands alone in terms how its bringing together full-stack connected technology and a consumerized healthcare experience to bridge the gap from hospital to home.
Today on Health in 2 Point 00, we’re wishing Jess a happy belated birthday! On Episode 189, Jess asks me about DispatchHealth raising a massive $200 million Series D, bringing their total up to $403 million, providing in-home urgent care. TytoCare raises another $50 million for their Series D, bringing their total up to $155 million, providing tech-enabled health at home with their device and providers. Finally there’s a partnership with Highmark Health, Google Cloud, Verily, and OnDuo – what’s going on with this lot? —Matthew Holt
Today on Health in 2 Point 00, we cheat a little bit and go overtime. On Episode 188, Jess asks me about MDLive getting acquired by Cigna’s Evernorth division, Devoted raising a whopping $380 million, Medisafe getting $30 million in a round led by Sanofi, and January AI raising $8.8 million bringing its total up to $21 million.—Matthew Holt
Symptom checker startup Buoy Health’s $37.5M Series C caught a lot of attention among health tech market watchers because of the collaborative support the funding round garnered from health plans. THREE payor orgs – UnitedHealth’s Optum, Humana, and Cigna – participated in the round, and co-founder and CEO Andrew Le is here to tell us why.
What’s interesting is how the health tech startup’s model has evolved past “symptom checking” and into patient decision-making to better solve the underlying uncertainty that typically causes a patient to “shotgun into care” that’s often a poor fit clinically AND financially. “If you don’t solve the clinical uncertainty first,” says Andrew, “then nothing else matters.” Health plans, though, are likely also seeing the potential of making sure that their members are routed to the right kind of “covered” care. And Buoy’s big plan is to help that along with a full-on marketplace of curated solutions – think telehealth, digital health apps, digital therapeutics, and so on – that round out the benefit design of a traditional health plan. Suddenly, symptom checking seems a means to a very different end…