Access to healthcare has long been an issue within the U.S., however the sheer magnitude of the issue turned obvious through the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Numerous digital health startups stepped in to deal with the plethora of points, and for a couple of quarters, VCs flocked to again them.
Many of these startups are nonetheless specializing in the identical issues, like telehealth main care or chat-based remedy, however there’s little visibility into the adoption and buyer acquisition they’ve seen. It’s clear traders aren’t so certain both: VC investment in digital health dropped to only $3.4 billion in Q1 2023 from a peak of $15.1 billion in Q2 2021, based on CB Insights.
I’m not saying the sector is useless within the water by any means, however the founders nonetheless discovering success are doing way over merely constructing off their friends. A latest fundraise illustrates clearly what VCs are discovering engaging within the sector, and the kinds of startups that will discover traction in at this time’s local weather.
On Wednesday, digital health startup Caraway stated it had raised an oversubscribed $16.8 million Series A spherical led by Maveron. The startup seems to be to supply 24/7 entry to bodily and psychological health assets focused at Gen Z prospects, and its built-in healthcare service has medical doctors and nurses who’re all the time accessible for textual content chats and calls. It additionally gives instruments that assist its prospects keep and reply to psychological and bodily health points in between appointments or when professionals are offline. The app is licensed to function in 10 states.
When founder Lori Evans Bernstein began the corporate in January 2022, she had simply left her earlier startup, HealthReveal, which used AI to assist folks handle continual diseases. Around the time, Evans Bernstein realized how arduous it may very well be for folks to get therapies when speaking along with her niece: After 15 weeks of fruitlessly ready for appointments to deal with a response to an unknown allergy, her niece merely gave up and hoped it wouldn’t come again.
“The more I peeled the onion, the more I couldn’t believe the lack of access to care and the experience they had to go through to get the care they needed,” Evans Bernstein stated. That story impressed her to begin Caraway, aiming to do away with these boundaries to accessing healthcare.