1.08.21
7 min. read

Novartis shares results from Pear schizophrenia DTx study

Welcome back to E&O Fridays, a paying subscribers-only weekly newsletter focused on the world of digital pharma products and FDA-regulated digital health.

 E&O Fridays.

If you are reading this in

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1.04.21
5 min. read

$900M in health tech funding. New Trivia Q.

Welcome back to E&O Mondays, the free newsletter from Exits & Outcomes.

 E&O Mondays.

In this issue:

  • A note about E&O’s latest research: The UnitedHealth Group Report.
  • E&O found more than $900 million in announced (and unannounced) funding (equity deals and debt financing) across nearly two dozen deals between December 21, 2020, and a few hours ago when I had to start writing. I’m surprised there was this much activity over the holidays!
  • Plus: A new health tech trivia challenge.

Here’s an out-of-the-box New Year’s resolution you can accomplish in minutes: Become a paying subscriber to E&O. Click here and call 2021 a success.



Plug: The UnitedHealth Group Report

Last week E&O published its latest long-form research report, an 8,000-word exploration of the digital health ambitions of UnitedHealth Group’s 1,000 subsidiaries.

While newer homegrown programs like Level2 and recently acquired entities like AbleTo are featured prominently, the report also digs into shuttered and paused programs, investments, lesser-known acquisitions, and more.

Prior to this research, I had no idea UnitedHealth owned a virtual reality-powered digital therapeutics company. I also didn’t know it owned its own manufacturing facility in the Philippines for inexpensive activity trackers. Do you know what a Special Purpose Care Delivery Organization is?

Well, paying subscribers to E&O know all about those things and more. Join them and read The UnitedHealth Group Report on E&O today.


This week’s health tech financing deals

In the last issue of E&O Mondays, I already mentioned wannabe “LinkedIn for doctors” H1 Insights $55 million raise, but its SEC filing is now posted right here in case you’re interested. Also, Calm‘s $75 million round from early December hit the SEC as a mere $39 million raise. Why do Form Ds so often show a much smaller number? I know they are hit or miss for any number of reasons, but, in this case, any ideas?

DXY, a decades-old Medscape/WebMD-like site in China raised a $500 million Series E led by PE firm Trustbridge Partners. Return investors Tencent and GL Ventures also chipped in. TechCrunch

Color, which offers DTC genetic testing, COVID–19 testing and other health services, just raised a $167 million Series D led by General Catalyst with participation from T. Rowe Price and Viking Global. TechCrunch

Another well-known consumer genetic testing company, 23andMe raised an $82.5 million Series F from Sequoia Capital and NewView Capital. The company has now raised $850 million. Bloomberg

Bit of a scoop here: RapidSOS quietly raised another $51.2 million on New Year’s Eve. Prior to this raise, the company already had raised more than $100 million in total funding. RapidSOS is helping to modernize 911 services in various ways, including working with digital health companies that make wearable devices to link them (and the data they collect) to emergency services. (Apple is one such partner.) The company’s one-liner: “In partnership with public safety, RapidSOS has created the world’s first emergency response data platform that securely links life-saving data from 350M+ connected devices directly to emergency and services and first responders.” Site

Another little scoop: Metronom Health, which was founded in 2010 and is building a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) for people with diabetes, quietly raised $22.2 million in equity, options, and other securities. Site

And another one: Fruit Street Health raised $22 million in a mix of debt and equity. Fruit Street offers a virtual diabetes prevention program that has full recognition from the CDC. It also recently launched a telemedicine offering focused on COVID–19 that used Zoom for video visits with patients. Site and June 2020 background article over at MedCity News

Koya Medical raised $11 million for its compression sleeve and accompanying app, Dayspring, which tracks the medical device’s use and adjusts its settings. “The Dayspring app is the ideal companion to help you and your therapist individualize compression settings and review your progress so you can get high-quality care in and out of the clinic.” Site

NextStep Interactive, which offers an online training program for certified nursing assistants (CNAs), raised another $3 million to boost its latest raise to $6.8 million in equity and other securities. Site

Kenya-based Capsule Global, which is co-led by a former Clinton Foundation malaria lead, added another $300,000 to its latest round, which now stands at about $5.9 million. Capsule’s first and flagship offering is Flare, a new emergency response system for Kenya.

Uber-for-health, non-emergency healthcare transportation company Aryv raised $5.8 million. Site

Legwork, a fast-growing patient engagement platform for dental practices, raised $5 million. Site

GenoPalate, a company that offers a direct-to-consumer genetics test that it uses to determine nutrition advice for its users, raised $4 million in a mix of equity, options and other securities. Site

CLMBR, a Peloton-like company that offers a stationary climber machine with a screen that displays on-demand workout classes, raised $3.4 million in debt. Its motto is “Some ride. Some run. We climb.” Chad Hurley, co-founder and former CEO of YouTube, is on the company’s board of advisers. (I was always more of a fan of the assisted pull-up/dip station machine at the gym. If you are building the Peloton version of that, let me know. “Some climb. We dip.” I can be your Chad Hurley. We are both media entrepreneurs.) Site

ReturnSafe, which offers a set of digital tools that employers can use to track COVID–19 symptoms and contact trace outbreaks, raised $3.25 million from Fifty Years and Active Capital. TechCrunch

Socially Determined, a social determinants of health-focused analytics company, raised $3.2 million in debt and other securities. Its offering, SocialScape helps care providers and payers better understand the ways SDOH are affecting their population’s utilization, cost, and outcomes. Site

Xevant, which analyzes and visualizes claims data for payers to better monitor PBM performance, raised $3.1 million. Site

DosedDaily, which offers continuing medical education (CME) via email newsletters, has raised a $2.3 million convertible note. Site

CircleLink Health, which offers a telehealth-enabled, RN-powered chronic condition management (CCM) Medicare-reimbursed program to healthcare providers, raised $2.2 million. Site

Episode Solutions, which combines “proprietary mobile technology” and “concierge-level services” to help care providers who are in value-based care arrangements, raised $1.6 milion. Site

UnifiHealth, which is focused on changing how health insurance benefits work at small businesses, raised $1.4 million in a mix of equity, debt, and other securities. Site

OneCare, which offers CareWatch, a cellular-enabled smartwatch with a focus on health monitoring and personal safety, raised $1.1 million. Site


Health Tech Trivia Question

Here’s a new Health Tech Trivia Question.

Rules: Don’t use Google. Just guess. Hit reply and email me your answer along with if you want me to include your name/company, just your initials, or keep it anonymous. I’ll provide the answer next Monday along with the first three (3) people to get it right — if anyone does! I’m happy to link out to your company’s website too, which might be worth a lot in SEO mojo someday, who knows?

Question: Which digital health founder is the son of a former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives? Only one hint: If you are a paying subscriber to E&O, you should know this one as I’ve mentioned this bit of trivia before…

Hit reply if you know!

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30 min. read
12.30.20

The UnitedHealth Group Report

In this article:

In this 8,000-word report, E&O explores the digital health ambitions of UnitedHealth Group’s 1,000 subsidiaries. While cardiometabolic and behavioral health programs are the focus, this report also digs into shuttered and paused programs, investments, acquisitions, and more.

"The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing."

That's a business-ism that gets lobbed by disaffected employees at every large company. Even the not-so-large.

But UnitedHealth Group isn't

Paying Subscribers Only

It's a good one, too.
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12.23.20
8 min. read

Grand Rounds vs Teladoc. Home Depot Stack.

Welcome back to E&O Wednesdays, the enrollment-focused digital health newsletter from Exits & Outcomes -- for paying subscribers only. This fortnightly issue digs into digital health companies that

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This digital health research is for paying Exits & Outcomes subscribers only. Subscribe now to read this article, get the weekly newsletter, and receive unrestricted access to past and future research from the Exits & Outcomes archives. Smash the link above or below to subscribe yourself -- or head over to our pricing page to subscribe your team or your whole company!
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12.21.20
6 min. read

$1.5 billion in health tech funding this week.

Welcome back to E&O Mondays, the free newsletter from Exits & Outcomes. This will be the last Mondays edition of 2020.

 E&O Mondays.

In this issue:

  • E&O found more than $1.5 billion in announced (and unannounced) funding (equity deals and debt financing) across two dozen deals for the week of December 14, 2020.
  • A brief look beyond the paywall: I’ve included a short section of E&O’s 2019 The Pear Therapeutics Report. Remember? This is the part where Pear tried to launch a digital nutriceutical product in partnership with The Vitamin Shoppe.
  • Plus: Nothing. Two’s enough this week. (I didn’t want to send out a question and then not answer it for weeks.) So Health Tech Trivia returns in 2021 with a real stumper…

In the last two weeks, three long-term paid readers decided to upgrade to Enterprise or Business Subscriptions so that their whole company (or team) could read E&O. Reading their emails is my version of a year-end holiday party. Help me celebrate: Click here to do the same and buy an Enterprise Subscription to E&O today.



E&O Research sneak peek: Pear Therapeutics

(As I noted above, you probably read this already so feel free to scroll past.) If you’d like to revisit: Here’s a sneak peek at one section of The Pear Therapeutics Report that E&O published for paying subscribers in September 2019. This snippet is about an early direct-to-consumer product line that Pear attempted and ultimately shuttered:

Pear’s 2016 direct-to-consumer debacle

Perhaps more than any other digital therapeutics company today, Pear stresses that its products are all prescription digital therapeutics, and it has even pushed the abbreviation PDT along with that messaging. At a neurogaming conference in 2014, Pear’s CEO Corey McCann teased the launch of a direct-to-consumer line of products, which — as it turned out — was still two years away:

“The first quick and dirty category for us is in the supplement and food space. We are in the process of launching a family of products into one of the supplement chains you are all familiar with. This would create a suite of supplement software combinations.”

Pear’s first product launch was for a line of digital wraparounds packaged with a line of supplements co-branded with the big supplement retail chain The Vitamin Shoppe. Starting in mid-October 2016, the digital supplement product line was available online and at any brick-and-mortar Vitamin Shoppe.

The vita+apps experiment included digital supplements for mood, sleep, memory, stress, vision, and attention.

Here’s what they looked like:

“vita+apps, powered by Pear Therapeutics is a mental/behavioral training tool used in conjunction with matched dietary supplements. All of our apps and games are based on clinically validated and tested therapeutics. As a novel approach to address vision, memory, mood and more, vita+apps combines digital applications with supplements to create a short-term, goal-oriented approach that helps patients modify the thoughts and beliefs that may underlie distress and behaviors.”

A year later the apps went offline and the vita+apps homepage just featured a thank you note that announced the apps would no longer be supported. Apart from the archived homepage, a passing mention on Pear Therapeutics’ Facebook page, and a tweet on The Vitamin Shoppe’s Twitter account, there is no other mention of vita+apps online.


This week’s health tech financing deals

While we’re on the subject of Pear, this week I wanted to start off with a quick follow-up on a past funding item I included in this newsletter last week.

Interestingly, the SEC filing for Pear Therapeutics‘ $80 million round, which the company announced more than a week ago, shows Pear actually raised $112 million. However, that number “includes $31,999,996 of proceeds used to repurchase securities, resulting in $79,999,929 of gross proceeds after the repurchase (before expenses),” according to the filing.

There were a handful of big raises this week. (Kind of surprising for the tail-end of the year, no?)

This week’s biggest raise was Verily‘s $700 million booster shot. Existing investors Alphabet, Silver Lake, Temasek, and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan contributed. Verily plans to use the money to “rapidly” expand “Baseline, an end-to-end ecosystem designed to make clinical research more efficient; and Verily Health Platforms, which supports population health, clinical care delivery and chronic disease management through programs like Healthy at Work, Onduo and Coefficient.”

According to a state government filing that a site called Prime Unicorn Index dug up, Lyra Health recently raised a $175 million Series E. The company just raised a $110 million Series D in August. Lyra provides mental health care benefits to employers. Its August round included Adams Street Partners, ex-Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, Casdin Capital, Glynn Capital, Greylock, IVP, Meritech Capital Partners, Providence Ventures, and Tenaya Capital.

Oscar, which describes itself as “the first health insurance company built on a full-stack technology platform,” raised $140 million in funding led by Tiger Global Management with a little help from Dragoneer, Baillie Gifford, Coatue, Founders Fund, Khosla, Lakestar and Reinvent.

H1, which is a business intelligence platform for pharma, raised a $58 million Series B co-led by IVP and Menlo Ventures. Lux Capital, Transformation Capital, Lead Edge Capital, Novartis dRx Capital, and YCombinator also chipped in. This little footnote on one of H1’s marketing pages caught my eye. Looks like they upset Veeva: “Veeva and H1 are not partners and Veeva® does not endorse H1 Insights’ products or services. Our prior communication should instead have said that the H1 platform is recommended by H1 for use with Veeva CRM solutions.”

Modern Health, a mental health and wellness platform that already counts more than 190 enterprises worldwide as customers, announced a $51 million Series C led by Battery Ventures. Newcomer Felicis Ventures also joined in. Existing investors Kleiner Perkins, Founders Fund, 01 Advisors, Afore Capital, and Okta’s Frederic Kerrest anted up too. Modern says its valuation is now north of $500 million. (It’s really incredible how many mental health-focused digital health companies there are now.)

Curai Health, a virtual care company that is “using AI to make high-touch, lower-cost primary care available to everyone,” raised a $27.5 million Series B led by Morningside Ventures. Existing investors General Catalyst and Khosla Ventures also contributed.

Diameter Health, which normalizes clinical data and makes it shareable via a real-time data exchange, raised an $18 million Series B led by Centene with a little help from existing backers: Optum Ventures, LRVHealth, Connecticut Innovations and Activate Venture Partners.

Unlearn AI, which creates “digital twins” that can be used in clinical trials, bumped up its $12 million round from April to $15 million, according to a recent regulatory filing.

CARLSMED raised $12.6 million in equity and other securities. It appears that part of the funding was the company’s $10 million Series A, which was led by U.S. Venture Partners (USVP) and included participation from The Vertical Group, Cove Fund, and Wavemaker Three-Sixty Health. The company uses machine learning and prior outcomes data to personalize the treatment of complex adult spinal deformities.

Workit Health, which is creating a digital-first platform for recovery from substance use disorders, raised a $12 million Series B round led by FirstMark Capital. Lux Capital, GingerBread Capital, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Venture Partners, and actor Rob Lowe, also participated.

Medocity, a virtual care platform company founded in 2013, raised $10.8 million in equity, according to a government filing. In the filing, it also explains that the total amount sold was “purchased through the conversion of indebtedness.” (Medocity raised via a series of convertible notes over the past few years.) As of May 2020, the company is one of Cigna’s partners for COVID–19-related virtual care.

Singapore-based Speedoc has raised a $6.7 million Series A led by Vertex Ventures SEA/India with contributions from Decacorn Capital and Global Grand Leisure. Speedoc offers remote digital health services, including telemedicine, remote diagnostics, and remote patient monitoring.

France-based Lucine, a digital care therapy company that is focused on chronic pain, raised $6.6 million. Lucine uses both virtual reality and CBT in its program.

Nairobi-based Ilara Health (that starts with an “i”), which offers diagnostics and a patient health management platform to African consumers, raised a $3.8 million Series A by TLcom Capital, with a little help from DOB Equity, Global Ventures, and Chandaria Capital. It aims to use the funds to expand its reach across the continent.

Seoul-based S-Alpha, a digital therapeutics startup, raised a $2.7 Million seed round led by Hana Ventures with help from STIC Ventures, AJU IB Investment, SJ Investment Partners, and TONY Investment.

Missed this one a few weeks back: Pair Team, which describes itself as “an end-to-end operations platform for primary care, backed by Pair’s own care team,” raised a $2.7 million seed round from Kleiner Perkins, Craft Ventures, and YCombinator.

Omcare, a Minnesota-based digital health company (that has inserted a symbol over its “O” but I refuse to play along), announced a $2.5 million investment from Connect the Grey Investment Management. The company’s home health hub device includes a mediation dispenser and visual monitoring to ensure patients take the right meds at the right time. The device also enables virtual face-to-face visits with care teams.

Four health tech companies raised less than $1 million this past week, including Docent Health ($800,000), Translational Imaging Innovations ($520,000), Prolung ($182,000 in debt), and Presidio Health ($100,000 in debt).

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12.18.20
6 min. read

Digital vaccines. MS fatigue DTx price: $910.

Welcome back. Last week in E&O Fridays, I wrote about Akili's pricing for EndeavorRx, Apple's latest FDA clearance, and a number of notable digital-related clinical trials.

 E&O Fridays.

The

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12.14.20
7 min. read

UnitedHealth founder’s senior care SPAC. $620M in funding

Welcome back to E&O Mondays, the free newsletter from Exits & Outcomes.

 E&O Mondays.

In this issue:

  • E&O found more than $620 million in announced (and unannounced) funding (equity deals and debt financing) across more than two dozen deals for the week of December 7, 2020.
  • I also checked back in on the SPAC that the founder and former CEO of UnitedHealth created. (It’s targeting the senior market and two ex-Livongans are on the team.)
  • Plus: The long-awaited answer to last week’s Health Tech Trivia Challenge along with the three readers who got it right…

Was this forwarded to you? Here’s your next click: Become a paying subscriber to E&O today.



A few details on the $360M senior care-focused SPAC led by UnitedHealth’s founder and ex-CEO

News broke last month that a new SPAC, named Senior Connect Acquisition Corp. (a SPAC named SCAC, as it happens), was helmed by Richard Burke, the founder and former CEO and chairman of UnitedHealth and was looking to take a senior-focused company (or group of companies) public.

What hasn’t been reported yet is how this SPAC was originally positioned. By comparing its original prospectus ($350 million) to its most recent one today ($360 million), you might get a better sense of where the blank check company will make its move.

Interestingly, the SPAC was originally named Health Connect Acquisition Corp. It follows, then, that the SPAC was planning to focus its “search on businesses in the healthcare industry.” In the second and third iterations of the SPAC’s proposed offering document, however, it changed its name and it changed its focus: “We intend to focus our search on businesses serving the senior market or capable of being repositioned to do so.”

Interestingly, the original team did not include Steven Schwartz, who is now the SPAC’s EVP of M&A. Before this, he spent four years as the SVP of business and corporate development at Livongo. He was Livongo’s lead on M&A and played a role in the company’s $18.5 billion merger with Teladoc.

However, this SPAC has always had a tie to Livongo since one of its board of directors is Lee Shapiro, who served as Livongo’s CFO.

While the name of the SPAC (and how it described its target market) shifted from its initial iteration, the specifics of its focus areas haven’t changed all that much. The five areas of interest have always been social determinants of health (SDOH), senior lifestyle, home-based services, health platforms, and financial and legacy services.

The newer filings do add a few details to these sections, however, which might indicate they are especially important to the SPAC’s future strategy.

To the SDOH section, the SCAC SPAC added:

“We believe new platforms and technologies for helping seniors stay meaningfully engaged and connected with others will help mitigate declining mental health associated with loneliness.”

To the list of home-based services, it added: “nutrition, personal hygiene, medication management.”

Read the most recent SCAC SPAC prospectus filing in-full here.


This week’s health tech financing deals

The biggest round of digital health funding this week went to Cityblock Health, which is a healthcare provider that focuses on lower-income communities. It raised a $160 million Series C round that valued it at more than $1 billion. New backer General Catalyst led while Wellington Management contributed. Return backers like Kinnevik AB, Maverick Ventures, Thrive Capital, and Redpoint Ventures chipped in too. Cityblock has now raised $300 million.

LeanTaaS, which offers healthcare systems AI/ML-driven software that helps improve operational efficiencies, increase patient access, and reduce costs, raised a $130 million Series D led by Insight Partners. Goldman Sachs contributed too.

Pear Therapeutics, which develops and commercializes prescription digital therapeutics, raised an $80 million Series D led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. Return backers Temasek, 5AM Ventures, Arboretum Ventures, JAZZ Venture Partners, Novartis, CrimsoNox, and EDBI contributed. New investors including Forth Management, Pilot House, Sarissa Capital, Shanda Group, and QUAD Investment Management, also chipped in. (Rumor: The company tried to raise about twice this amount last year.)

Calm, makers of a popular meditation app, raised a $75 million Series C that values the company at $2 billion. Lightspeed Venture Partners led the round. TPG, Insight Venture Partners, Marc Benioff, and funds managed by Goldman Sachs Asset Management contributed. Calm has now raised $217 million total. The company says it has been profitable since 2016 and it claims 100 million downloads and 4 million paying members. (I’m guessing those numbers are cumulative.)

Well, (legally named Well Dot, Inc.) which offers an employee health and wellness platform, raised a $40 million Series A financing that includes a mix of debt and equity. It was founded in 2019, which is when it raised a $25 million seed. Its backers include General Catalyst, John Doerr, Mosaic Health Solutions and partners of Hellman & Friedman. (These are considerable sums for such early rounds, wow.)

Elation Health, which describes itself as a “clinical-first technology company powering the future of independent primary care”, raised a $40 million Series C led by Generation Investment Management. Existing backers Threshold Ventures and Kapor Capital also invested.

State Space Labs, which I wrote about in Issue 001 of E&O Mondays, added another $6 million to its recent round, which now stands at $34.6 million. Here’s how I described them the last time around:

“Its existing investors include Khosla, Firstmark, Lux, and Expa. Neuroscientists founded State Space to help video game players improve their reaction time. So, in addition to an esports training program and cognition analytics, the company has come to realize it should also build digital therapeutics too.”

Centivo, a “digital health plan that is built to save 15 percent or more compared with traditional insurance carriers”, raised a $34 million Series B led by B Capital Group. New backers Define Ventures, HarbourVest Partners, and Nassau Street Ventures also participated. Existing investors Bain Capital Ventures, Company Ventures, F-Prime Capital, Ingleside Investors, Maverick Ventures, and Rand Capital chipped in too.

Sight Sciences, a medical device company focused on glaucoma and dry eye disease announced that it had raised a Series F financing round but didn’t disclose the amount. An SEC filing this week suggests it was about $23.3 million. D1 Capital Partners led and Janus Henderson Investors contributed too. According to the release: “The raise also includes a refinancing and upsizing of the company’s senior credit facility with MidCap Financial.” One of Sight Sciences products, TearCare “is a software-controlled, wearable eyelid technology that delivers highly targeted and adjustable heat to the meibomian glands of the eyelids.”

One Million Metrics, doing business as Kinetic, raised $8.3 million, according to a regulatory filing, but a press release that I missed in November said the round was actually $11.25 million. Kinetic makes a wearable, called Reflex, for industrial workers that aims to keep them safe. Crosslink Capital led the round.

Story Health, a new startup led by Verily alums, raised a $4 million seed round led by General Catalyst and Define Ventures. Story Health seems to tap into the hospital-to-home trend and is selling to providers. Story “goes beyond video visits to guide and adapt to a patient’s needs on a day-by-day basis through optimizing care plans, understanding therapy efficacy, and suggesting evidence-based changes.”

Babyscripts, which offers a virtual care platform for managing obstetrics, raised $4 million from a number of healthcare provider organizations, most of which are customers: Banner Health, the CU Healthcare Innovation Fund, the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin health network, and WellSpan Health.

RxFunction, a developer of wearables and balance technology that aims to decrease fall risk, raised $4 million in a mix of equity, options, and debt. Site

Germany-based Wellabe has raised a $3.6 million Series A from the largest private clinic in Germany, Sana Klinik and existing investors: Earlybird VC, Paua Ventures, and Plug and Play. Wellabe sells to employers and offers an employee health and wellness suite of offerings that include mobile stations, on-site checkups, and an employee wellness platform.

Blueprint, which sells clinical decision support software to mental health providers, raised a $3.4 million seed round led by Bonfire Ventures. Lightbank and other angel investors contributed too.

Aifred Health, a Canada-based digital health company that also sells clinical decision support software to mental health providers, raised $3.1 million in a seed round co-led by MEDTEQ+ and BDC Capital. Return backers including Desjardins Group and Highline Beta chipped in too.

Mate Fertility raised $2.3 million to increase accessibility to fertility treatments via telemedicine. Site

Lantern PBC, formerly known as the Good Grief Collective, raised $2.3 million to help guide people with end-of-life planning for themselves or loved ones. Site

HealNow has raised a $1.3 million round from SoftBank Opportunity Fund and Alabama Futures Fund to help smaller pharmacies with ordering and delivery of medications. TechCrunch

DynamiCare Health raised about $1 million for its smartphone-based programs that help people in recovery from substance use disorders, including alcohol, drugs, and tobacco. Site

A handful of other startups raised less than $1 million in funding (or they announced but didn’t include a dollar amount). They are: Atropos Health, RCE Technologies, Forbie, ClaimInformatics, Farewelling, and Nesos.


Answer: Health Tech Trivia Challenge

Last week’s Health Tech Trivia Question hit the sweet spot. I received more wrong answers than correct ones and only three of you got it. Congrats to this week’s winners!

ICYMI last week’s question was: Which digital health entrepreneur has a son who has also started a digital health startup? Only one hint: In case there is more than one answer to the question above: For the one I’m thinking about, the son’s company’s name could be interpreted as a reference to his old man.

The answer: Randy Parker. Parker was CEO and founder of MDLive and is now founder and CEO of GeniusRx. His son, Andrew Parker, is the founder and CEO of Papa. (See how the son’s startup’s name is dad-referencing? That’s the hook that people with wrong answers all missed.)

Next Monday I’ll be back with a new one. Get some rest and be ready.

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12.11.20
8 min. read

Akili prices EndeavorRx. Apple ECG 2.0

PLUS: Six digital pharma studies

Issue 081

 E&O Fridays.

Welcome back. Last week in E&O Fridays, I wrote about PDTs vs digital vaccines (?) vs disease management 2.0 and dug into the Mahana

Paying Subscribers Only

It's a good one, too.
This digital health research is for paying Exits & Outcomes subscribers only. Subscribe now to read this article, get the weekly newsletter, and receive unrestricted access to past and future research from the Exits & Outcomes archives. Smash the link above or below to subscribe yourself -- or head over to our pricing page to subscribe your team or your whole company!
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12.09.20
7 min. read

JPM Digital Health Stack. Noom eyes employers.

PLUS: Omada's new trademark

Issue 003

 E&O Wednesdays.

Welcome back to E&O Wednesdays, the enrollment-focused digital health newsletter from Exits & Outcomes -- for paying subscribers only. This

Paying Subscribers Only

It's a good one, too.
This digital health research is for paying Exits & Outcomes subscribers only. Subscribe now to read this article, get the weekly newsletter, and receive unrestricted access to past and future research from the Exits & Outcomes archives. Smash the link above or below to subscribe yourself -- or head over to our pricing page to subscribe your team or your whole company!
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12.07.20
7 min. read

$640M in health tech funding. New Trivia.

PLUS: Salesforce+Slack

Issue 006

 E&O Mondays.

Welcome back to E&O Mondays, the free newsletter from Exits & Outcomes.

In this issue:

  • E&O found about $640 million in announced (and unannounced) funding (equity deals and debt financing) across nearly two dozen deals for the week of November 30, 2020. That’s up from the measly $99 million I found last week.
  • I took a quick look at how the rise in digital health and telehealth apparently had some small role in the $27.7B Salesforce-Slack acquisition this week. (Huh?)
  • And a new (and hopefully slightly harder — really dialing this thing in) Health Tech Trivia Challenge…

Would it create FOMO if you found out that the CEO of your biggest competitor is already a paying subscriber to E&O? And if they’re not yet a paying subscriber, wouldn’t it be smart to create that FOMO in them? Well, look, there’s no way out now: Head to the pricing page of E&O right here and don’t miss what comes next.

P.S. one of the things that comes next for paying subscribers is a big report on UnitedHealth/Optum and its many, many digital health initiatives.

Salesforce buys Slack for $27.7B and cites telehealth and digital health growth as a factor

Obviously, I spend quite a bit of my Sundays poring through SEC filings to put together this newsletter.

Yesterday, I happened upon this filing from Salesforce about its multi-billion dollar acquisition of Slack that — weirdly — shows the company repeatedly mentioned the rise of telehealth and digital health during the pandemic as one of the macro events that helps make the case for this deal (and its massive price tag).

If you can say — “even healthcare is finally going digital now” — it certainly helps make the point that the world has changed. It’s still odd to see two giant tech firms pointing to digital health as proof that we live in an increasingly digital world, right?

In any case: That’s new.

The filing included transcripts of various interviews that the company conducted last week with the press, in case the Q&As prove helpful to potential investors.

Here’s one quick example:

The Information asked Salesforce COO and President Brett Taylor:

“The price Salesforce paid for Slack seems a little bit high, particularly in light of the earnings report that Slack put out which showed that their growth slowed a little bit in this recent quarter. Can you just kind of give us a sense: Why did Salesforce pay such a premium?”

And the relevant part of Taylor’s answer:

“…But the trend that we really see is this move to this all-digital work anywhere world and where this pandemic, I think really accelerated for a lot of parts of the economy is just the digitization of industries, consumer goods, companies are going to direct consumer, medicine is going to telehealth and digital health faster than ever before…”

To sum up his point: It follows, then, that digital tools that enable remote workforces, etc. etc. are worth quite a bit (maybe even $27.7B in some cases) in this new, ever-digital world.

Taylor pointed to medicine going remote and the rise of telehealth in a few of his other interviews last week, too. It was obviously a talking point for the companies’ media strategy following the deal’s announcement.

Just another signal that, for better and worse, 2020 was a huge step forward for digital health.

This week’s health tech financing deals

OK, wow, a lot of deals this week. I’ll try to keep this brief and skimmable:

These first three deals you almost certainly read about already: Olive AI, Everlywell, and Virta Health each had a big funding announcement in the past week.

Olive AI, which uses artificial intelligence to help hospitals and health systems automate and optimize their employees’ workflows, raised $225.5 million. Tiger Global led and return backers General Catalyst, Drive Capital and Silicon Valley Bank chipped in with a little help from new investors GV, Sequoia Capital Global Equities, Dragoneer Investment Group, and Transformation Capital Partners. Olive is now valued at $1.5 billion. Release

Everlywell raised a $175 million Series D after its $25 million Series C just this past February. That’s a pandemic-driven, meteoric rise in valuation, anyway. New investors include BlackRock, The Chernin Group, Foresite Capital, Greenspring Associates, Morningside Ventures. Return backer Highland Capital Partners also contributed. TechCrunch

The funding round most people emailed me about this past week was keto diet-powered diabetes (and other conditions) reversal company Virta Health‘s $65 million Series D, which Sequoia Capital Global Equities led. Remember: Virta Health raised a $93 million Series C just this past January. (Quick math: 93 > 65.) But the piece that most people glommed onto was Virta’s new valuation post-money: More than $1 billion. These are frothy times in digital health. Super curious to see Virta’s revenue numbers now (so send them my way if you have them). Release

Cleo quietly bumped up its Series B to $31.2 million from the $27 million or so it announced in 2019. Cleo sells health benefits programs, including ones focused on fertility, pregnancy, and return-to-work post-COVID to employers. Site

Click Therapeutics raised $30 million in debt financing from K2 HealthVentures. The company developed software as prescription medical treatments, AKA prescription digital therapeutics. Its first commercialized product isn’t actually Rx-only: A smoking cessation program, called Clickotine. Click’s last equity raise was way back in mid-July 2018 when it raised $17 million led by Sanofi. (I included an item on this on Friday for paying subscribers and left out the year (2018) of Click’s last raise.) Release

This one was pretty well-covered in the press: Proscia, which offers digital and computational pathology services, raised a $23 million Series B led by Scale Venture Partners. Hitachi Ventures contributed too. The company’s tech helps aid cancer research and diagnosis. Release

ConsejoSano quietly raised $17.1 million. Its previous investors include 7wireVentures. ConsejoSano focuses on the Spanish-speaking population in the US and offers a range of digital tools and services to them, including “multi-channel messaging, care navigation, data analytics, and 24/7 access to native-Spanish speaking medical navigators that increases engagement, reduces unnecessary ER visits, and produces better health outcomes for Spanish speakers.” Site

Movano, which is trying to develop a non-invasive continuous glucose monitor (CGM), quietly raised $12 million in debt financing. Non-invasive CGM has been something of a quixotic venture in digital health for many years. The company lists Ruben Caballero, a former Apple VP and current exec focused on hardware engineering at Microsoft, as one of its board members. More on the exec team here.

Third Eye Health, post-acute telehealth network focused on reducing unnecessary hospital readmissions that works closely with skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), raised $9.7 million in a mix of debt and equity financing. (I only recently heard the term “SNFs” said out loud, like “sniffs”, and now I have a favorite healthcare jargon acronym.) Site

France-based Kayentis, which offers an electronic clinical outcome assessment (eCOA) platform for clinical trials, raised $8.3 million. Return backers Extens and LBO France led the round, while a new investor, Bpifrance, also chipped in. Release

Laguna Health, a stealth digital health company founded in April 2020 that is building a digital rehabilitation program to prevent unnecessary readmissions, raised $6.6 million. A recent job ad for Laguna shared that the company “focuses on the entire end-to-end patient recovery process: from the moment someone steps out of the hospital to full rehabilitation.” Interestingly, it self-describes as a “digital health insurance company” in some of its marketing. San Francisco-based Yoni Shtein is the CEO & Founder of Laguna, but the rest of the team appears to be in Israel. Site

Onc.ai, which is developing a cancer care management offering, raised $6 million in a round co-led by Blue Venture Fund and Accomplice along with contributions from KdT Ventures, Digitalis Ventures, and a long list of angels. Release

uMed, a digital health company that builds registries for clinical trials and helps support remote data collection for trials, raised about $5 million. AlbionVC, Delin Ventures, and Playfair Capital all contributed with a little help from 11.2 Capital. MobiHealthNews

Presidium Health, which provides in-home care to medically complex patients using a tech-enabled platform, quietly raised $5 million. Site

Meru Health, an online mental health provider with in-network coverage for Cigna and Humana members, raised $4.8 million in debt financing. Site

MedArrive, which is a house call service that sends an EMS provider to the home but then loops in a physician via telehealth during the in-home visit, raised $4.5 million. MedArrive is backed by Redesign Health. This seed round was co-led by Kleiner Perkins and Define Ventures. Its founders are Dan Trigub (ex-Uber Health) and Inna Plumb. Release

Folx Health, a digital-native health platform designed specifically for the Queer Community, raised $4.4 million from Define Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Polaris Partners. Crunchbase News

AceAge, a Canadian digital health startup that offers a tech-enabled medication dispenser and personal health assistant named Karie, raised $3.9 million. Release

Neuroglee, a new prescription digital therapeutics startup, raised a $2.3 million pre-seed round. Japan pharmaco Eisai led the round and Biofourmis CEO and Founder Kuldeep Singh Rajput contributed too (Neuroglee is his brother’s company). Singapore-based Neuroglee, which has an initial focus on Alzheimer’s, intends “to treat patients in the early stages of the disease.” TechCrunch

Segmed, which curates medical data by anonymizing, standardizing and labeling it so its customers can use it in research, raised a $2 million seed round led by Blumberg Capital with participation from Nina Capital. Release

FleetNurse, a site that offers on-demand staffing services to healthcare facilities, raised $841,000. Site

Actuate Health, a biosensor and digital health startup currently focused on diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventative tools to combat the current COVID-19 pandemic raised $357,000 in debt, options, and other securities.

Health Tech Trivia Challenge

Here’s a new Health Tech Trivia Question.

Rules: Don’t use Google. Just guess. Hit reply and email me your answer along with if you want me to include your name/company, just your initials, or keep it anonymous. I’ll provide the answer next Monday along with the first three (3) people to get it right — if anyone does! I’m happy to link out to your company’s website too, which might be worth a lot in SEO mojo someday, who knows?

Question: Which digital health entrepreneur has a son who has also started a digital health startup? Only one hint: In case there are more than one answer to the question above: For the one I’m thinking about, the son’s company’s name could be interpreted as a reference to his old man.

Hit reply if you know!

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