The obesity epidemic continues to skyrocket in the U.S. and is one of the biggest problems facing public health.
And there is greater urgency to address the problem fueled by the global pandemic, which has led to the average American gaining 30 pounds.
The traditional approach to weight loss that focuses exclusively on diet and exercise has not been able to move the needle, according to Sarah Jones Simmer, CEO of weight care management startup Found.
The company, which emerged out of stealth in September, offers a science-backed solution for personalized, lasting weight care that addresses the missing link in the existing weight loss market: biology.
With doctors, nurses, coaches and a supportive community, Found is equipping Americans with the resources they need, including FDA-approved medication and individual coaching, to achieve lasting weight loss. On average, Found members have lost 10% of their weight by the sixth month and have kept it off. In total, members have lost nearly 300,000 pounds with Found to date, according to the company.
The startup landed $100 million in series B funding to fuel its growth. The investment was led by WestCap, a growth equity firm founded by former Blackstone and Airbnb executive Laurence A. Tosi, with participation from IVP, The Chernin Group, G9 Ventures and Able Partners as well as existing investors at GV, Define and founding investor Atomic. Angel investors in the round include Fidji Simo, CEO of Instacart, and Julia Cheek, CEO of Everly Health.
Found has raised more than $132 million to date, and, with the latest funding, it is now valued at $600 million.
Jones Simmer jumped on board at Found to serve as CEO after helping to "quarterback" Bumble's initial public offering as its chief operating officer turned chief strategy officer.
The company also brought on board Rekha Kumar, M.D., as its first chief medical officer and Acacia Parks, Ph.D., previously chief science officer at Happify Health, as its new chief behavioral health officer.
"At Found, our mission is to dismantle the diet culture and help people find lasting weight loss through the best of modern medicine and personalized support," Jones Simmer said. "With our latest funding and talented new clinical leaders, we're making meaningful progress toward helping people lead more fulfilling, happier lives through our innovative approach to weight care that drives lasting results."
Here's a snapshot of other health tech funding deals of more than $30 million in November and December 2021:
Online mental health: Launched just two years ago, Cerebral is growing rapidly, propelled by increased demand for behavioral health care services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company banked $300 million in a series C round led by the SoftBank Vision Fund 2. New and existing investors including Prysm Capital, Access Industries, WestCap Group and Artis Ventures also backed the funding round.
Health data platform: Truveta, a startup that pools and analyzes patient data for research and drug development, launched its platform in November with $200 million in funding. Created earlier this year, the company is backed by 20 health systems including big names like Tenet Health, Providence and CommonSpirit Health. Microsoft also invested an undisclosed amount in the startup.
Virtual physical therapy: Sword Health, a virtual provider of musculoskeletal care, nabbed an additional $189 million in funding. The initial series D round of $163 million was led by Sapphire Ventures with participation from new investors including Sozo Ventures and Willoughby Capital as well as previous investors including General Catalyst and Khosla Ventures. The series D was “heavily oversubscribed,” resulting in an additional $26 million invested in a secondary transaction that catapulted Sword’s valuation to $1.8 billion.
Insurtech platform: HealthCare.com scored a $180 million funding round for its AI-powered tools that connect consumers to health plans, boosting the company’s valuation to more than $1 billion. Oaktree Capital Management led the oversubscribed round, and previous investors Axis Capital, Second Alpha and Link Ventures also participated in the round.
Big data: Innovaccer landed $150 million in a series E round, adding nearly $2 billion to its valuation. The startup is now valued at $3.2 billion. Mubadala Capital led the round, with participation from new investors including Avidity Partners and Whale Rock Capital Management and previous investors including Microsoft’s M12 fund, B Capital Group and Steadview Capital.
Family-on-demand services: SoftBank Vision Fund 2 backed Papa's $150 million series D round. The startup is tackling loneliness among seniors by providing companionship and support. Investors TCG, Tiger Global Management, Canaan, Initialized Capital and Seven Seven Six also participated in the series D round.
Nurse staffing platform: Trusted Health, a startup that helps hospitals fill staffing gaps, has pulled in $149 million in funding. The total funding amount includes a $94 million series C round led by GreenSpring Associates as well as a previously undisclosed $55 million series B round led by Craft Ventures and Felicis Ventures.
Medicare startup: EasyHealth, a startup that connects people to Medicare coverage and fills gaps in data for improved care, has raised $135 million in equity and debt funding. Anthemis Group and QED Investors led the series A round with participation from Victory Park Capital, Nationwide Ventures and Health Ventures, among other investors.
Patient engagement: Luma Health, a platform that automates provider-patient communication, scored $130 million in series C funding. FTV Capital led the series C round with participation from previous investors.
Direct healthcare startup: Nomi Health grabbed $110 million in series A funding co-led by Rose Park Advisors, a venture firm associated with the late Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen, and Arbor Ventures, a global fintech venture capital firm. Nomi operates seven laboratories and a fleet of 200 mobile or "pop-up clinics," often in the form of a specially equipped van or trailer, that deliver care to underserved areas, including prisons, schools, long-term care facilities and even meatpacking plants.
Cloud R&D developer: After picking up $200 million just over six months ago, Benchling isn’t sitting still. The cloud-based R&D platform developer collected another $100 million to help power its global expansion plans. The latest round was co-led by new investor Franklin Templeton and previous backer Altimeter Capital with support from Tiger Global, Lone Pine Capital and Benchling’s other existing financiers, which included Y Combinator.
Remote monitoring startup: Cadence nabbed $100 million in a series B funding round led by Coatue Management. Previous investors including General Catalyst and Thrive Capital participated in the series B round. Investors from the startup’s series A round also included Martin Ventures, former Trump administration official Adam Boehler and Chelsea Clinton through her venture capital firm Metrodora Ventures.
Health infrastructure: Health technology company Color picked up $100 million in series E financing to accelerate the expansion of accessible and equitable public health infrastructure. Kindred Ventures led the round along with certain funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates Inc. Existing investors General Catalyst, Viking Global Investors and Emerson Collective also participated in the round.
Digital doctor network: H1 picked up $100 million in a series C round to expand its data and network as well as its product development and hiring. Altimeter Capital led the round joined by new investors Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Flex Capital, with participation from existing investors IVP, Menlo Ventures, Transformation Capital, Lux Capital and LeadEdge.
Intelligent automation: Notable, a software company that uses intelligent automation to simplify administrative healthcare tasks, closed a $100 million series B funding round. The round was led by ICONIQ Growth and included participation by Greylock, F-Prime Capital and Oak HC/FT.
Nurse staffing app: ConnectRN pulled in $76 million to scale its tech-enabled platform. Suvretta Capital Management and Avidity Partners led the round, joined by HBM Healthcare Investments and Infinitum Asset Management, among other firms.
Personalized health improvement app: Digital health company Well notched $70 million in series B funding to continue expanding its consumer-focused health improvement platform. The startup uses artificial intelligence, advanced behavioral economic techniques and on-demand human guidance to improve users' health. The round was led by Valeas Capital Partners with participation from 12 prominent angel investors, General Catalyst and partners of Hellman & Friedman.
Data analytics for payers: Reveleer, a cloud-based platform helping payers analyze member and provider data, landed $65 million in fresh capital. Oak HC/FT led the round, joined by previous investors Upfront Ventures and Boston Millennia Partners.
Digital mental health: Quartet raised $60 million in a funding round led by Independence Health Group. Existing investors GV and Oak HC/FT also backed the investment.
Voice-enabled healthcare digital assistant: Suki clinched $55 million in series C funding, boosting its valuation to $400 million. The latest funding round was led by growth equity firm March Capital with backing from Philips Ventures and previous investors including Venrock, Flare Capital, Breyer Capital and inHealth Ventures.
Mental health provider: U.K.-based mental health firm Ieso pulled in $53 million in a series B round for its development of digital therapeutic systems. Morningside led the series B round, along with new investors including Sony Innovation Fund and participation from previous investors including the IP Group, Molten Ventures and Ananda Impact Ventures.
Behavioral health: Aptihealth closed in on a $50 million series B funding round to ramp up investment in clinical science, technology and services. The financing was backed by Takeda Digital Ventures, Pivotal Life Sciences, Vista Credit Partners, Olive Tree Ventures, Claritas Capital and What If Ventures.
"Alexa for healthcare" scribe device: Robin Healthcare snagged $50 million in its series B funding round, led by Scale Venture Partners. The company's device, dubbed the Robin Assistant, uses artificial intelligence to record patient interactions with providers and upload clinical and billing information into the electronic health record system.
Digital opioid use disorder treatment: Ophelia secures $50 million in series B funding to expand its services and reach. Tiger Global Management led the round with participation from Menlo Ventures, General Catalyst, Refactor Capital, 640 Oxford Ventures, Interplay Ventures and individual contributors.
Health data API platform: Ribbon Health banked a $43.5 million series B investment led by General Catalyst and with participation from new and current investors including Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), BoxGroup, Rock Health and Sachin Jain.
Radiology IT platform: Sirona Medical, a developer of a cloud-native platform for radiology IT software, raised $40 million in series B funding. GreatPoint Ventures led the series B round, joined by Rose Park Advisors and Avidity Partners as well as all previous investors including 8VC and Global Founders Capital.
Women's health: FemTec Health launched out of stealth with $38 million in investor cash and a deep bench of women in leadership. FemTec Health's investors, capital and shareholders include Longmont Capital, Ithaca LifeSciences, Unilever Ventures, Shiseido, e.Ventures, Viking Global and Trinity Capital.
Virtual reality for pain management: AppliedVR picked up $36 million in fresh funding backed by F-Prime Capital, JAZZ Venture Partners, Sway Ventures and SVB Ventures.
Voice robotic process automation: Infinitus Systems landed $30 million in series B funding for its AI technology that automates phone calls between providers and payers. GV, formerly Google Ventures, led the round along with previous investors including Kleiner Perkins and Coatue Management.
Licensing and credentialing automation: Medallion, a digital health startup that automates administrative tasks like clinician licensing and insurance network compliance, pulled in $30 million in its series B funding round. Sequoia Capital led the series B round, along with previous investors Optum Ventures, Spark Capital, Color founder Elad Gil and Cue co-founder Daniel Gross, among others. The startup also announced new angel investors including Mario Schlosser, CEO of Oscar; Iyah Romm, CEO of Cityblock Health; and Will Gaybrick, CPO of Stripe.