Aging-in-place company Homethrive has raised an additional $20 million in Series B funding.
For Homethrive, a Human Capital-led funding round involving Allianz, 7wireVentures and Pitango HealthTech will be used to drive “aggressive expansion” plans and further investment in technology. And for similar startups targeting the elderly, the injection of capital shows that venture capital interest in this space has not cooled down far, despite the recent slowdown in investment.
“This funding will help us grow our sales and marketing capabilities, expand them to reach more people, and advocate for this kind of family and caregiver support,” Dave Jacobs, co-founder and co-CEO of Homethrive, told Homethrive. . Health news. “And it will also help people understand how the Homethrive solution is truly unique to their needs.”
Jacobs and his business partner David Greenberg launched Homethrive in Northbrook, Illinois, in 2018 after each went through family care issues with their parents.
Before founding Homethrive, Jacobs spent 15 years as a senior executive at Medline Industries, a $12 billion healthcare products company. Greenberg was also a senior executive at Medline, tasked with leading the organization’s strategic priorities.
However, even with their medical experience, the couple often felt lost trying to find and coordinate services for their parents, Jacobs recalls.
“Even though we were healthcare leaders with a lot of industry knowledge and we were lucky to have close families and the means to support our families, the path of caring for the sick was incredibly challenging,” he said. “It was complicated.”
To ease this pressure on others, Jacobs and Greenberg sought to build a business that, in very simple terms, would act as a roadmap for a digital aged care system.
“When we look at building a business that informs and connects healthcare consumers, the key ingredient is not just the idea behind the business,” Glen Tallman, co-founder of 7wireVentures and CEO of Transcarent, said in a statement. “The key ingredient is people who can bring an idea to life at scale.”
For example, someone whose parent was diagnosed with dementia could download Homethrive’s intelligent digital assistant, Dari, which would then offer information about the disease and access to social workers. In this case, Homethrive can further help family caregivers find professional services in their marketplace, including home care and home care agencies.
“One of the most common [we do] we help people understand the difference between “skilled” and “unskilled” home care by helping them access it,” Jacobs said. “This is one of the most common things we get asked for in terms of services. We are very partner for home care [agencies] across the country.”
In terms of how services are paid for, Homethrive is offered as a benefit by self-insured employers and Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, as well as a Medicare supplement and long-term care insurance. Homethrive is currently available in the US.
Some of the organizations offering Homethrive as a benefit include the Michigan Manufacturers Association, law firm McDermott Will & Emery, and healthcare startup emids. Private asset management firm Rockefeller Capital Management is another corporate client.
“A service like Homethrive is intangible but inherently valuable,” Rockefeller senior vice president and head of human resources Frank Dew said in a statement. “This is a white-glove service that moves through an important and meaningful space where we are not blamed.”
Tallman is also Chairman of the Board of Homethrive.
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With a $20 million Series B, Homethrive’s total fundraising increases to around $43 million. Earlier in October 2020, the company raised an $18 million Series A.
Jacobs and his team are bullish on Homethrive’s expansion plans, especially with employers recognizing family care as a must-have in 2022.
In addition to being a good recruiting and retention tool, care benefits keep employees productive. According to the Blue Cross Blue Shield association, the direct economic impact of the need for care is estimated at almost $44 billion through the loss of more than 650,000 jobs and nearly 800,000 caregivers suffering from absenteeism.
“We believe family and caregiver support will become a mainstay for self-insured employers, just as mental health support is today,” Jacobs said.
More MA plans are starting to see the value that companies like Homethrive are also bringing.
MA plans are increasingly offering benefits that address the social determinants of health and prevent negative health outcomes long before they happen. The information Homethrive collects at home potentially provides plans with unique insights into the health and well-being of their members.
“We tend to be the canary in the coal mine for payers,” Jacobs said. “Because people start doing research using one of our roadmaps, very likely before they talk to a doctor and get diagnosed or even evaluated.”
On the tech side, Homethrive plans to use the new funding to improve its digital assistant by giving it more AI-powered capabilities.
“We do this to better recognize patterns when people need help,” Jacobs said. “To be able to make the right recommendations and do it at scale very quickly.”
On a macro level, Series B Homethrive reflects the appetite of VCs for aged care startups, especially those focusing on home care. Venture capital firms have invested more than $2.5 billion in senior care and home care startups in recent years, according to Crunchbase data.
“There’s just a lot of money pouring into space,” Bryant Hutson, MedArrive’s vice president of business development, told the HHCN Capital+Strategy conference. “There’s a lot more to experiment with.”
MedArrive, also backed by 7wireVentures, coordinates personalized care with emergency medical services (EMS) professionals, nurses, and public health workers, among others.
This appetite is expected to remain strong even as investors show signs of a more conservative approach.
According to Crunchbase, global venture funding in April 2022 was $47 billion, the lowest amount invested in private companies in the last year. The April downturn could be part of a longer-term trend, as the first quarter of 2022 saw a shift in funding as well.
In particular, April funding decreased by 10% compared to the previous month and by 12% compared to the same period last year.
Even as the venture capital landscape changes, Homethrive still sees plenty of runway opportunity, Jacobs said.
“Because you have a combination of more people who are getting older and more people who want to be at home, it puts more responsibility on family carers – unpaid family carers,” he said. “So the need and pressure and stress on them grows exponentially over time.”