Unite Us, tech company focused on social determinants of health, lays off employees amid profitability struggles

Unite Us, the tech company facilitating referrals to social services, has laid off a sizable chunk of its workforce, Fierce Healthcare has learned. 

The layoffs happened on August 21 and affected people in at least six states, including Minnesota, Wisconsin, Texas, Illinois, California and Oregon. While Unite Us did not confirm how many people were laid off, a Slack channel created by and for those affected by the layoffs and viewed by Fierce Healthcare contained more than 120 members as of September 6. 

In a statement to Fierce Healthcare, Unite Us confirmed the workforce reduction, saying "this decision was made to focus on the highest impact work for our customers, the communities we serve, and our mission." In the last two years, the company has expanded nationally and made acquisitions to advance social care, the statement went on, and remains "focused on maximizing our impact on the people and communities we serve."

The company will provide severance, reimbursements for health insurance premiums, career transition and job search support, co-founder and president Taylor Justice said in a Zoom meeting announcing the cuts. A recording of the announcement was viewed by Fierce Healthcare. 

“Any organization would be fortunate to call our departing colleagues a member of their team,” Justice said in the recording viewed by Fierce. “We want to acknowledge that today is going to be a challenging day for everybody involved.” 

Roles affected included customer and community success, sales, engineering and government and policy, according to the Slack channel created by those affected by the layoffs and viewed by Fierce Healthcare.

The company's headcount in June was 846 employees, according to information shared with Fierce Healthcare.

Unite Us also had layoffs in 2022, several employees confirmed to Fierce Healthcare. Hundreds were reportedly eliminated, according to one affected employee’s LinkedIn post.

Launched in 2013, New York City-based Unite Us has raised $195 million to date, according to Crunchbase. The startup last raised $150 million in 2021, when it was valued at $1.6 billion.

In January, Unite Us touted a number of milestones, including that the use of its software had impacted 18.7 million people, bringing together healthcare, government, nonprofit and private-sector partners to address social determinants of health (SDoH).

The company says it now powers social care networks in 44 states. Over the last year, the company has onboarded 81 new customers and announced 18 new United Way and national partnerships with community-based organizations, executives said in a press release.

Unite Us also has notched several acquisitions to expand its data and tech capabilities. Three years ago, the company bought social determinants-focused analytics company Staple Health. In 2021, it acquired Carrot Health, a consumer data and predictive analytics platform offering engagement insights to payer and provider customers. That same year, it also scooped up another major player in the market, NowPow, to scale its integrated health and social care networks.

Screenshots of the company’s financials reviewed by Fierce Healthcare reveal that Unite Us closed its 2022 fiscal year with $100 million in revenue, up 46% year-over-year, and an EBITDA loss of $66 million. Its year-to-date results in April 2023 were at $35 million revenue and a $23 million adjusted EBITDA loss. Two months later in June YTD, revenue grew to $54 million, while the adjusted EBITDA loss grew to $33 million. 

Unite Us sent a message following the layoffs to its customers, according to a former employee. In it, Unite Us wrote it is "in the process of streamlining and re-organizing our structure in order to best prioritize delivering exceptional technology and support for our customers and communities." The message was viewed by Fierce Healthcare, though the date was unclear.

Unite Us’ chief financial officer (CFO), David Rudow, appears to have left the company in August 2023 after seven months with the company, according to his LinkedIn profile. One former employee confirmed the departure. A new CFO, Apollinaire Amondji, appears to have been promoted to the position the same month, according to his LinkedIn profile.