Former CVS Health exec gets $25M for cancer care navigation platform Jasper Health

Eight months after its launch, Jasper Health has raised $25 million in a series A round to scale its care navigation platform for cancer patients and their caregivers.

The New York City-based startup, which began as a calendar for cancer care, now serves as a smart organizer for all aspects of the individual’s health journey, with daily mood and symptom trackers, medication adherence tools and live sessions with oncology social workers.

Because no one prepares for a cancer diagnosis, patients are often left scrambling for information as they struggle to manage their own care, said Adam Pellegrini, co-founder and CEO of Jasper Health, in an interview with Fierce Healthcare.

In navigating those rocky waters, Pellegrini sees Jasper Health as the patients’ river guide.

“Patients and caregivers have unmet needs not just in information, but in active guidance, which I always saw as being missing from the equation,” he said. “There are some paths where if you go left, it’s more turbulent, but if you go right, it can be calmer. That’s Jasper’s role, to be your guide.”

Pellegrini has spent two decades refining consumer experiences in digital health. After starting his career in the 1990s as a surgical specialist in the Army, Pellegrini helped build the American Cancer Society’s website to educate patients and family members desperate for information about the disease.

He last served as the senior vice president of virtual care and consumer health innovation at CVS Health and has held leadership roles at Fitbit, Walgreens and Microsoft.

Coming to Jasper Health, he said, felt like tapping into unfinished business. Driving patient engagement at the startup is easier than ever.

“I’ve done work in wellness, chronic condition management, population health and beyond. When you go broad, you may not get folks that are all focused on a specific disease,” he said. “With cancer, when someone signs up, this is their world. You’re there to help simplify and reduce friction in that world.”

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Since the platform’s launch, nearly 12,000 people have used Jasper Health, including more than 2,000 caregivers, according to the company. Patients can personalize their in-app settings to share specific information and permissions with their caregivers.

Plus, around 12% of users that sign up for the service every day are in remission, which Pellegrini said surprised him. He sees the platform’s psychosocial offerings as the company’s core market differentiation, attracting members across the continuum of care.

“One of the most common things we’ve heard from people in remission is, ‘I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop,’” he said. “So we’ve developed a coping program for remission that’s about mental health, lifestyle and combating stress and anxiety. We’re going to be your copilot along the way.”

Jasper Health’s business model relies on its platform benefiting patients, too. If members don’t stay engaged, the company doesn’t get paid.

“In my mind, we should be on the hook to make sure we create the most compelling, more empathetic digital health experience out there, and we should be ready to put our money where our mouth is to drive outcomes,” Pellegrini said.

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General Catalyst led the startup's series A round, joined by Human Capital, W Health Ventures, Redesign Health and 7wireVentures.

General Catalyst’s Jennifer Schneider, M.D., and Candace Richardson will join Jasper Health’s board of directors as part of the fundraising.

“Jasper Health is the only end-to-end oncology solution available to both consumers and large enterprises, uniquely positioning the company to improve health outcomes and reduce the costs associated with cancer care for individuals and entire populations,” said Schneider, executive in residence at General Catalyst and former president of Livongo, in a statement. “Facing a cancer diagnosis is one of the scariest and most overwhelming things a person can experience, but having a proven digital health partner like Jasper will not only transform lives, it also will provide hope when it’s most needed.”

The fresh capital will help Jasper Health scale its platform by partnering with more organizations that provide cancer care and support cancer patients, including payers, employers and health systems.

The company announced a collaboration with Employer Direct Healthcare in November, making its solution available to a client base of more than two million people.

Jasper Health also plans to triple its staff in the next six to eight months, Pellegrini said, focusing on data science, product and engineering and market development.