RecoveryOne lands $33M backed by private equity arm of BCBS of Kansas City

RecoveryOne, a virtual physical therapy care startup targeting patients recovering from musculoskeletal conditions, scored $33 million in a series C round co-led by Cobalt Ventures and TELUS Ventures. 

Other investors included Cigna Ventures, 7wireVentures and Leverage Health Solutions. The company plans to use the fresh capital to expand in the payer and employer markets. It previously raised $12 million in 2019.

In a press release, Cobalt Ventures President and Managing Partner David Eichler called the investment a “natural extension of our healthcare portfolio,” noting RecoveryOne’s "digital health innovations that lower total cost of care for payers while improving access, engagement and experience for members.”

Cobalt Ventures is Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City's private equity arm.

Formerly TrainerRX, RecoveryOne connects patients to physical therapists and health coaches through its virtual platform or app, building custom recovery plans that adjust in real time.

The company claims it’s the largest national provider of digital musculoskeletal recovery programs and has a 90% employer renewal and retention rate. Express Scripts included RecoveryOne in its digital health formulary last fall.

RELATED: Industry Voices—To see where digital therapeutics is heading, look to MSK care

"We are impressed with the clear vision shared across the RecoveryOne team,” Mario Mele, Telus Ventures vice president of corporate strategy, said in a press release. "We invest in disruptive, market-transforming companies to help drive better health outcomes. RecoveryOne has tapped into a critical and ongoing market need by delivering an innovative, effective, and affordable solution that is making a difference in people's lives and will continue to do so in the future."

By focusing on consumer satisfaction, engagement, clinical outcomes and recovery rates, the company claims it can cut medical costs, which have been independently measured by RecoveryOne clients in case-matched, risk-adjusted studies.

"Excelling at MSK care delivery is our mission," said RecoveryOne CEO Mark Luck Olson in a statement. "We are creating ongoing value for consumers, caregivers, health plans and payers, so this funding round will help us to scale those efforts and extend our impact far beyond the 60+ clients and nearly three million consumers under contract today."

RELATED: Google, ProMedica team up with IncludeHealth to tap into growing virtual MSK market

Virtual physical therapy has become a hot market, with investors pouring big cash into MSK startups. Hinge Health recently banked a $300 million investment in series D funding while Kiai, a digital therapeutics company, raised $75 million in series C funding. Sword Health scored $110 million in six months to fuel its global expansion and to build value-based care models for musculoskeletal care.

In other market moves, Omada Health acquired virtual physical therapy company Physera for a reported $30 million, and telehealth company DarioHealth bought Upright Technologies for $31M to expand into the digital MSK market.

Employee benefits startup HealthJoy, which provides a platform designed to make it easier for employees to use their healthcare benefits, also jumped into the market when it acquired Rekinetics this year.

Google and ProMedica Health System are partnering with IncludeHealth to launch an MSK operating system that any provider can use to offer integrated virtual physical care for MSK patients.