March 4, 2024

access to health care have has long been a problem In the United States, the magnitude of the problem became apparent early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Many digital health startups stepped in to solve a plethora of problems, and within a few quarters, VCs poured in to back them.

Many startups are still focused on the same things, like telemedicine primary care or chat-based therapy, but less is known about the adoption and customer acquisition they’re seeing. Apparently, investors aren’t too sure either: VC funding in digital health fell from a peak of $15.1 billion in the second quarter of 2021 to $3.4 billion in the first quarter of 2023, according to the data. CB Insights.

I’m not saying the industry is in trouble, but founders who still succeed do more than build peers. A recent funding round is a clear indication of the traction VCs find in the industry, and the types of startups that might be getting attention in today’s environment.

Wednesday, Digital Health Startups caraway said it has raised an oversubscribed $16.8 million Series A round led by Maveron. The startup hopes to provide Gen Z customers with 24/7 physical and mental health resources, and its comprehensive medical service has doctors and nurses who are always available for text chat and call. It also provides tools to help clients maintain and cope with mental and physical health issues during appointments or when professionals are offline. The app is licensed to run in 10 states.

When founder Lori Evans Bernstein launched the company in January 2022, she had just left her previous startup, HealthReveal, which used artificial intelligence to help people manage chronic diseases. At the time, Evans Bernstein realized how difficult it was for people to get treatment when she was talking to her niece: After waiting 15 weeks for an appointment to treat an unknown allergic reaction with no results, her niece simply Give up and hope it doesn’t happen. come back.

“The more I stripped, the more I couldn’t believe they couldn’t get the care they had to go through to get the care they needed,” says Evans Bernstein, whose story inspired her to start Caraway, Designed to remove barriers to accessing healthcare.