Alphabet's CapitalG, Ascension back $140M investment in kidney care startup Strive Health

Strive Health aims to slow the progression of kidney disease with an approach that combines advanced technology with in-person patient care.

The startup landed $140 million backed by Alphabet’s independent growth fund CapitalG to scale up its model.

Redpoint also joined current investors NEA, Town Hall Ventures, Ascension Ventures and Echo Ventures to complete the round. The financing will support the growing demand for Strive’s innovative whole-patient solution for kidney disease populations, the company said.

Strive Health was founded in 2018 and is among a crop of tech-enabled companies looking to disrupt kidney care. Based in Denver, Strive Health has raised $223.5 million in capital since its founding.

Strive works with patients' primary care physicians and nephrologists to manage their care while providing access to predictive analytics, telehealth services and education on home dialysis options. The company leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to offer patients direct and virtual clinical services, home dialysis education and training, and advanced care planning. 

RELATED: Independence Blue Cross collaborates with Strive Health on late-stage kidney disease program

The company is focused on creating a new standard of kidney care to slow kidney disease progression, cut inpatient utilization, increase the adoption of home dialysis and significantly improve patient outcomes and experience.

The growing national spotlight on kidney care and the demand for value-based healthcare solutions has helped Strive more than double its presence in regional markets and grow its employee base by more than 600% in the last year, according to the company.

Currently, there is $410 billion of unmanaged kidney disease spend as the disease affects 37 million adults and is the nation’s ninth leading cause of death. Kidney disease also disproportionately impacts people of color and significantly elevates the risk of developing serious complications from COVID-19. Despite dismal outcomes, only 10% of people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are aware they have the disease, over half of late-stage CKD patients have not seen a nephrologist and roughly 60% of people who experience kidney failure do so in an unplanned way, demonstrating the need to reform treatment approaches.

The new partnership with CapitalG is expected to amplify Strive’s position in the market through growth capital and access to Google and Alphabet expertise to support product and go-to-market innovation, the company said.

“Chronic and end-stage kidney disease patients continue to be underserved by the current healthcare system. Strive has built an industry-leading kidney care solution that has the potential to transform patients’ lives,” said Sumi Das, partner at CapitalG, in a statement.

“After extensively studying the landscape, we determined that Strive’s technology, care delivery model, and team were best-in-class in the rapidly emerging kidney care segment. We are excited to partner with the Strive team to improve patient outcomes and significantly drive down healthcare costs," Das said.

RELATED: Humana unveils latest partnership on coordinated kidney care

According to Strive, the company's artificial-intelligence-powered data science models predict disease progression with greater than 95% accuracy. If patients progress to kidney failure, Strive is equipped to coordinate transplants or flexible home dialysis. Strive’s programs have dramatically improved care quality and shown up to 29% reduction in total healthcare spend, the company reported.

“Our unique partnership with CapitalG will help us profoundly elevate our growth and technology vision by leveraging the insights and expertise of the best and brightest minds at Google and Alphabet,” said Chris Riopelle, CEO of Strive Health, in a statement.

The company has scored partnerships with large payers and health systems. It joined forces with Humana to offer coordinated kidney care in Kentucky and Indiana. It also struck a partnership with SSM Health, a 23-hospital health system serving the Midwest.

Strive also works with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina as part of its Blue Premier Advanced Kidney Care program, which aims to improve care coordination as well as member engagement and education around their conditions. Independence Blue Cross also works with the company to improve care for members living with late-stage CKD and end-stage renal disease.

The startup also has partnerships with hundreds of nephrology providers through new Medicare payment models and aggressive growth plans for the coming year.