Health tech funding snapshot—Alto Pharmacy scores $250M; GV leads $100M round in Verana Health

concept of one hand holding up a light bulb and other hands holding up money
(Lia Shaked)

There’s a fast-growing field of digital health companies looking to disrupt primary care.

Among them, startup 98point6 offers text-based primary care, and CirrusMD provides what it calls “chat-first” virtual care. Humana is teaming up with telehealth company Doctor on Demand to launch a new virtual primary care model.

And then there's K Health, a digital primary care service, making moves in this space and expecting 2020 to be a big year with partnerships with major players, Allon Bloch, the company’s CEO and co-founder, told FierceHealthcare.

The startup landed $48 million in series C funding with investors including 14W and Mangrove Capital, insurance giant Anthem, Lerer Hippeau and Primary Ventures.

The company has raised $97 million to date.

With the new funding, K Health has plans to scale its model and to move tech-enabled primary care to mobile devices, the company said.

The New York-based startup, which launched in 2018, developed a chat function that uses artificial intelligence to suggest potential diagnoses for consumers who enter symptoms and also takes into account the user's medical history, age and gender.

The health information is provided at no cost. Patients can chat with a board-certified physician at up to 90% less than the cost of traditional care, according to the company.

The company has served more than 2.5 million people over the past 10 months with access to health information.

Here’s a snapshot of other health IT funding deals of $25 million or more in February:

  • Pharmacy disrupter: SoftBank’s second Vision Fund led a $250 million investment in drug delivery startup Alto Pharmacy. Existing investors GreenOaks Capital, Jackson Square Ventures, Olive Tree Capital and Zola Global also participated in the series D funding round. Alto has raised over $350 million. The latest funding round vaulted Alto Pharmacy’s valuation over the $1 billion unicorn mark, Reuters reported.
     
  • Liquid biopsy leader: Infectious disease blood tester Karius landed $165 million in a funding round led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2. Karius provides genomic insights for infectious diseases to enable clinicians to make life-saving treatment decisions. The series B round was joined by General Catalyst and HBM Healthcare Investments as well as the company’s previous backers Khosla Ventures and LightSpeed Venture Partners, FierceBiotech reports.
     
  • Primary care startup: Iora Health scored $126 million in a series F funding round led by India-based Premji Invest, with participation from existing investors Cox Enterprises, Temasek F-Prime Capital, Devonshire Investors, .406 Ventures, Flare Capital Partners, Polaris Partners and Khosla Ventures. The Boston-based startup says it aims to rebuild primary care from scratch and integrates tech-based offerings to Medicare patients. 
     
  • Portable dialysis: Outset Medical has raised $125 million to accelerate the U.S. commercialization of its all-in-one hemodialysis machine. About the size of a small cart on wheels, the Tablo system includes onboard water purification systems that allow it to connect directly to tap water to produce its own dialysis fluid, FierceBiotech reports. The $125 million series E financing was led by D1 Capital Partners, with additional backing from Fidelity Management and Research Company, Partner Fund Management, Perceptive Advisors and funds advised by T. Rowe Price Associates.
     
  • Real-world data analytics: Alphabet’s GV (formerly known as Google Ventures) led a $100 million funding round for Verana Health. The San Francisco-based company curates and analyzes real-world clinical data to advance medical research and patient care. New investors Bain Capital Ventures, Casdin Capital and Define Ventures also participated in the round. Verana plans to expand into additional therapeutic categories over the next year as well as to integrate imaging, genomic and claims data sources.
     
  • Betting big on meditation app: Los Angeles-based mindfulness and meditation company Headspace banked $93 million in its series C funding round. The round was led by blisce/ with participation from Waverley Capital and Times Bridge and existing investors The Chernin Group, Spectrum Equity and Advancit Capital. The new funding includes $53 million of equity from participating investors and $40 million of debt capital from Pacific Western Bank.
     
  • Digital tools for chronic back pain: Hinge Health, which developed a digital musculoskeletal solution, secured a $90 million round of funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners, with participation from Lead Edge Capital and all existing investors. The San Francisco-based company’s digital platform uses wearable sensors and one-on-one health coaching to deliver in-home musculoskeletal therapy.
     
  • Unifying healthcare data: Software startup Innovaccer is focused on building longitudinal patient records and scored $70 million in a series C funding round. Investors for the round included Steadview Capital, Tiger Global, Dragoneer, Westbridge, Mubadala and M12 (Microsoft’s venture fund). The company has raised $120M to date. Innovaccer plans to use the new funds to build out its platform, which has processed more than 3.8 million patient records to date.
     
  • Digital staffing: A startup bringing a tech approach to healthcare staffing scored $45 million in equity and debt financing. The series B round was led by new investor Endeavour Vision and includes Kaiser Permanente Ventures and Generator Ventures. IntelyCare is an on-demand healthcare staffing solution for skilled nursing facilities and assisted living centers. The company uses its software to match nurses with open shifts they’re most likely to accept.
     
  • Women and family health startup: Maven landed $45 million in series C funding led by Icon Ventures with participation from existing investors Sequoia, Oak HC/FT, Spring Mountain Capital, Female Founders Fund and Harmony Partners. Individual strategic investors include Reese Witherspoon, Natalie Portman, Mindy Kaling and 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki.
     
  • Tech-enabled checkup service: Q Bio is a Silicon Valley startup that aims to reimagine the executive physical. The company came out of stealth mode and secured $40 million in series B funding led by Andreessen Horowitz. This brings Q Bio’s total funding to $58 million.  In 75 minutes or less, members can get a comprehensive picture of their health, according to the company. Q Bio quietly opened its doors to a limited membership in late 2019 and plans to open additional locations this year.
     
  • Personalized therapeutics: Two companies that market CAR-T cells for cancers are backing a company that makes software for cell and gene therapy firms. Vineti scored $35 million in series C financing led by Cardinal Health, with participation from Novartis Pharma AG and Kite, a Gilead company, as well as existing investors Canaan Partners, Threshold Ventures (formerly DFJ), Section 32, LifeForce Capital, Casdin Capital and Hive Ventures.
     
  • Molecular technology startup: Optum Ventures, a part of UnitedHealth Group, is backing startup Scipher Medicine. The company is working to improve patient outcomes by using molecular diagnostics to identify the best therapy prior to treatment initiation. The investment by Optum Ventures represents a second close in Scipher Medicine’s previously announced series B round, raising its total to $25 million.

Also, check out funding deals in JanuaryDecember and November.

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