Alphabet's VC arm just sank $140 million into a startup that wants to unseat dialysis giants like DaVita. We got the pitch deck that convinced CapitalG to back Strive Health.
- Strive Health raised $140 million in Series B funding on Tuesday. Alphabet’s CapitalG led the round.
- The startup works with insurers and health systems on a new way to care for people with mid- and late-stage kidney disease.
- See the presentation that won over CapitalG and Redpoint Ventures.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
A Denver-based upstart kidney-care company just got a $140 million cash infusion to take on dialysis giants like DaVita with a new approach to treating patients with kidney disease.
On Tuesday, Strive Health announced it raised $140 million in Series B funding at an undisclosed valuation. CapitalG, the venture arm of Google parent company Alphabet, led the round, which also included new investor Redpoint Ventures and existing backers NEA, Town Hall Ventures, Ascension Ventures, and Echo Ventures. Strive has raised $223.5 million to date.
The funds will go directly toward scaling the business, CEO Chris Riopelle told Insider. The startup currently operates in six states and has an eye on entering others by working with insurance companies like Humana, health systems, medical providers like SSM Health, as well as individual nephrologists.
Strive Health works directly with partners to offer monitoring and care for people with mid- and late-stage kidney disease, getting paid on a per member per month basis. It identifies a person’s other conditions, such as obesity or hypertension, and matches them with local nurse practitioners that work with the patients to manage the disease.
The goal, Riopelle said, is to slow the progression of the disease and ultimately help them avoid the need for dialysis in clinics like the ones DaVita and Fresenius operate. Dialysis treatment cleans the blood for patients whose kidneys don’t function well enough to provide that function on their own.
Should patients need dialysis or a kidney transplant, Strive helps them get to the right treatment. Strive also operates more traditional dialysis centers where patients come in for treatment, but the primary focus is on providing dialysis care at home, Riopelle said.
The core of Strive’s pitch is in its technology, Riopelle said. He said few companies collect and interpret data on patients with kidney disease, who are typically complex and expensive to care for. Strive uses that data to make predictions about what a patient’s progress may be, what type of clinician is best suited to working with them, and how likely they are to progress in the disease quickly.
Working with CapitalG was something of a no-brainer, Riopelle said. Its parent company’s experience in scaling a massive business, plus its inside look at how artificial intelligence has been deployed successfully in a variety of business functions, will only become more valuable as Strive Health grows. It will also help the healthcare startup’s credibility when hiring technical talent, he said.
“The notion of an investor that’s looking at tech and how it really marries into high-touch care delivery is not simple, but the nuance is important. That’s healthtech,” Riopelle told Insider. “We are a healthcare service delivery company powered by technology.”
See the presentation that won over CapitalG and other tech investors to the tune of $140 million. Some confidential details have been removed by Strive.
Strive Health starts its investor presentation with its mission statement of "compassionate kidney care the way it should be done."
Strive is responsible for managing the care of kidney disease patients for health insurers and health systems. It does that through technology, in-person meetings with nurses, as well as through dialysis centers it operates that promote home-based dialysis.
The hope is that by working with people living with kidney disease earlier and more proactively, Strive can keep them healthier and avoid treatments like dialysis for longer. In turn, that brings down the cost of medical care.
Strive's team includes leaders who've spent time at places like kidney care companyDaVita and digital health companies including Evolent Health.
Strive is taking on the $410 billion kidney care market.
The market alone for people who've been diagnosed with kidney disease is $213 billion, Strive notes in the presentation, citing an LEK analysis. There's another $199 billion market from undiagnosed patients.
As the healthcare industry moves from paying for care based on how much is delivered to how well it's delivered, startups like Strive stand to benefit.
Strive then lays out how its platform works.
By coordinating medical care for patients with kidney disease, offering in-person care with "Kidney Heroes" who are nurse practitioners and other medical professionals, and operating dialysis centers, Strive's goal is to better care for the patients it's responsible for.
There's a lot of data that surrounds people living with kidney disease, from insurance claims to doctor's visits, to pharmacy information. Strive wants to use that information to better inform its care teams and how they in turn care for the patients they work with.
Strive finishes its presentation by sharing results after launching its first partnerships in 2020.
Working with insurers like Humana and medical groups like Conviva (owned by Humana), Strive notes it has $850 million under management.
The presentation highlights a patient with stage 4 chronic kidney disease. Before enrolling in Strive's program, the patient was admitted to the hospital frequently, including six times in 2019. Since joining Strive, the patient has not yet been admitted to the hospital.
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