One startup aims to tackle the obesity epidemic in the U.S. through a tech-based approach that makes evidence-based, comprehensive treatments accessible and affordable.
San Francisco-based Found pulled in $32 million to scale its platform, including a $24 million series A round announced Sept. 30 and led by GV (formerly Google Ventures), Atomic and Define Ventures. This is in addition to previously unannounced $8 million in seed funding.
Founded in 2019 and launched last year, Found is offering members an integrated approach to weight loss with the aim of addressing the complexity of weight gain and obesity with a personalized approach. Found brings an individualized and evidence-based approach to weight health with a heavy focus on body positivity, according to company executives.
Sarah Jones Simmer, former chief operating officer at dating app Bumble, jumped on board to lead the startup as its new chief executive in partnership with co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Swarthy Prithivi, who previously worked at Uber.
At Bumble, a company that destigmatized online dating, Simmer played a pivotal role in the company's journey to IPO, while battling stage 3 breast cancer, according to Simmer in a LinkedIn blog post. (She worked on drafts of Bumble’s S-1 from the chemo chair and first sent it to the board the morning of her double mastectomy.)
“I had spent a year thinking about ‘health’ more than I had in my entire life, and as a result could appreciate the unique inflection point Found was addressing in the larger health ecosystem, by tackling one of the biggest health-related issues that exists today: weight care and improving our relationships with our bodies. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be a part of it,” Simmer wrote.
Obesity is the No. 1 cause of preventable death in this country, and nearly 50% of the population will be clinically obese by 2030. The pandemic made matters far worse, according to the company. People not only gained an average of 30 pounds while being at home and stressed out, but being obese increased the risk of severe illness and hospitalization from COVID-19.
Tens of thousands of Found members have used the company’s weight care program and have lost more than 200,000 pounds, according to Prithivi in a blog post.
The new funding will help Found go on a hiring spree and boost its marketing capabilities so that it can expand.
Here's a snapshot of other health tech funding deals of more than $25 million in September:
Healthcare software: Commure, which provides a API development platform for healthcare, nabbed $500 million over two rounds of funding, according to reporting by Insider. Its sources say the company is now valued at $3.5 billion after the latest series D round, which closed last week. Insider reported that Human Capital and Greenoaks Capital led the latest round.
Primary care startup: Cityblock Health, a healthcare provider focused on marginalized populations with complex needs, raised $400 million in a late-stage funding round that brings the company’s valuation to $5.7 billion, Stat reported Friday, citing sources familiar with the matter. The round was led by SoftBank, Stat's Erin Brodwin reported.
Lab automation: Opentrons Labworks Inc., a New York City-based lab platform provider, raised $200M in series C funding, Bloomberg reported. SoftBank Vision Fund 2 led the round with participation by Khosla Ventures. Other investors in Opentrons include Sands Capital, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, SOSVclinica and Y Combinator.
Employer mental health platform: Spring Health aims to take the company global and expand its solution to serve employees' entire families, boosted by $190 million in fresh capital. The funding round propelled the company's valuation to $2 billion, according to executives. The round was led by health investor Kinnevik; insurer Guardian Life joined as a new investor, while existing investors—including Tiger Global, Northzone, RRE Ventures, Rethink Impact, Work-Bench, William K Warren Foundation, SemperVirens, Able Partners and True Capital Ventures—also participated.
EHR miner: Elligo Health Research raised $135 million to help power its acquisition of clinical R&D firm ClinEdge as well as expand its own digital study platform. The company’s series E round was led by Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital and Ally Bridge Group, with additional backing from Norwest Venture Partners, Cerner, Hatteras Venture Partners, Noro-Moseley Partners, Piper Sandler Merchant Banking, Shumway Capital and Syneos Health.
AI-powered orthodontics company: InBrace’s latest financing indicates investors may finally be ready to sink their teeth into dental startups. InBrace raked in a total of $102 million in a series D funding round, Fierce MedTech reported. The oversubscribed round was led by Farallon Capital Management and Marshall Wace. Several new and existing investors joined the round, including BlackRock, Endeavour Vision, Vivo Capital, Novo Ventures, venBio and more.
Hybrid care practice for women: Tia secured a hefty $100 million funding round to scale its virtual and in-person care. Lone Pine Capital led the funding round with additional participation from other investors including Threshold, Define Ventures, Torch Capital, ACME, Compound, Combine, The Helm, Human Ventures, Seae Ventures and Gingerbread Capital.
Outpatient infusion centers: IVX Health is eyeing new markets in 2022 boosted by $100 million in fresh capital. The series F minority investment was backed by Great Hill Partners, a private equity firm that invests in high-growth, disruptive companies. Great Hill joins IVX Health’s existing investors including Linden Structured Capital, McKesson Ventures, Health Velocity Capital and Nueterra Capital.
Organ-on-a-chip technology: Emulate grabbed $82 million to boost its offerings aimed at replicating human biology through easier-to-manage in vitro cellular models. The series E financing round was led by previous backer Northpond Ventures and joined by Perceptive Advisors, bringing Emulate’s lifetime venture funding total to nearly $225 million since its 2013 founding.
Substance use disorder treatment: Wayspring, formerly axialHealthcare, brought in a $75 million funding round that included backing from major payers such as Centene Corporation, Highmark and the Blue Venture Fund. Valtruis, the new value-based care portfolio company from Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, was the lead investor in the funding round, with backing from CareSource and HLM Venture Partners.
Care coordination: Pager, a New York-based digital care coordination and navigation platform, announced $70 million in newly raised equity and debt financing Tuesday. The series C round was headed by Susquehanna Private Equity Investments while Silicon Valley Bank provided the debt financing.
Online healthcare jobs marketplace: Nomad Health, a staffing platform, locked up $63 million in new equity and debt financing. The raise, announced Tuesday, was led by Adams Street Partners and included all of the company’s prior investors.
Breath biopsy tech: Owlstone Medical raised $58 million to support its efforts in the field of breath biopsy. The latest series D funding brings the Cambridge, U.K.-based company’s total venture capital haul to over $150 million since its founding in 2016. The round was led by Horizons Ventures, which was joined by other unnamed international investors.
Menstrual health and ovulation app: Popular women’s health app Flo just got more personal as it gains traction in the femtech industry. In its latest financing, Flo secured $50 million in series B funding round led by VNV Global and Target Global. The startup is now valued at $800 million, according to company executives.
Healthcare marketplace for same day appointments: Solv, a provider of same-day and next-day appointment software, banked $45 million in fresh funding to build out its national network of healthcare providers. The series C funding round was led by Acrew Capital and Corner Ventures with participation from Greylock Partners and Benchmark Capital.
Digital surgery: Activ Surgical pulled in $45 million in a series B funding round courtesy of a baker’s dozen of investors led by Cota Capital. Bobby Yazdani, a founder and partner of the investment firm, will join Activ’s board of directors. Activ Surgical recently launched ActivInsights, an augmented-reality-based software suite that uses robotics and computer vision, machine learning and other artificial intelligence to enhance surgeons’ performance throughout entire procedures.
Telehealth: eVisit has closed on $45 million in Series B financing that it plans to use to expand its virtual care platform for large health systems. The growth equity arm of Goldman Sachs Asset Management led the round. Other investors included Texas Health Resources, Tom Burton and Steve Barlow—co-founders of Health Catalyst—and existing insiders.
Online mental health platform: Meru Health, a provider of online mental health programs for depression, burnout and anxiety, raised $38 million in a series B funding round led by Industry Ventures. Additional investors in the funding round include Bold Capital Partners, Freestyle VC, FMZ Ventures, Leksell Social Ventures and JPMorgan.
Virtual physical therapy: Cobalt Ventures and TELUS Ventures led RecoveryOne’s $33 million series C round. 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.
OCD treatment: NOCD, a provider of obsessive compulsive-disorder treatment, nabbed a $33 million series B funding round. The investment was led by F-Prime Capital, with Eight Roads Ventures and Kaiser Permanente Ventures participating along with existing investors including 7wireVentures, Health Enterprise Partners and Chicago Ventures.
Digital surgery technology: Caresyntax added a $30 million extension to its series C funding round with participation from BlackRock, ProAssurance and Harmonix along with existing investors such as the Relyens Group and IPF Partners. This extension brings the total series C funding to $130M.
AI-generated voice biomarker technology: Ellipsis Health, a San Francisco-based developer of a voice vital sign to quantify and manage depression and anxiety at scale, raised $26 million in series A funding. The round was led by SJF Ventures with participation from AblePartners, Akhil Paul at Caparo Group, Alumni Ventures, Divesh Makan, Gaingels, Gary Loveman, Generator Ventures, Greycroft, Helmy Eltoukhy, Joanne Bradford, Khosla Ventures, Luminous Ventures, Marc Benioff’s TIME Ventures, Richard Socher, Ricardo Villela Marino, SpringTide Ventures, and What If Ventures.