Agetech News No. 09

Oct 6, 2020 6 min read
Agetech News No. 09

From seed financings to multi-billion dollar mergers, there’s more happening in Agetech than ever before...

With COVID-19 numbers continuing to rise, businesses closed, and no end in sight, it can be hard to find any source of optimism. The place I’ve been able to find it is Agetech. From seed financings to multi-billion dollar mergers, there’s more happening in Agetech than ever before. Read on to find out, and as always if you have feedback or a funding update please reach out or leave it in the comments below.


Say what!? “Invisible” hearing aid manufacturer Eargo raised $71m and just weeks later filed for an IPO

For those of you who’ve been reading this newsletter for a while, hearing (pun intended) that an innovative hearing aid manufacturer raised millions comes as no surprise. Barriers to entry have been knocked down, and there’s been a marked increase in funding for innovations that promote accessibility. Big tech has also been investing heavily in making their products more usable for everyone — last year Google launched Live Transcribe and Sound Amplifier apps to help hearing-impaired users communicate, while Microsoft is using various AI and machine learning technologies to improve accessibility.

What is surprising is how quickly the company is preparing to IPO, something that has been incredibly rare in this Agetech space, as well as the broader startup ecosystem. In the 2010’s we saw only a few tech companies go public, with the results being very hit-or-miss: Tesla surged while Facebook, Groupon, and Snap all fell, with only one of them recovering. This led to the rise of mega-funds like Softbank’s Vision Fund, which enabled companies to stay private longer. However, somehow in the midst of the biggest worldwide crisis in a generation, this decade-plus long tide has changed. Big names like One Medical, Amwell, Palantir, Asana, and Unity have already gone public this year, with Doordash, Wish, Airbnb, and now Eargo preparing to do the same.

It’s not entirely clear why this wind change is happening now, with the global economy in turmoil and the future so uncertain. It could be the recent high-profile falters of vision fund companies, the changing consumer demands due to the pandemic, or something else, but whatever the reason it’s bringing back an exciting exit pathway that this space has been sorely missing. Stay tuned for more exciting Agetech IPOs coming this year and likely into 2021 as well.

“The window is open, everyone has figured out that a virtual IPO is possible. There’s an appetite for companies to go public.” - Previn Waas, IPO specialist at Deloitte

Here’re links to more info on the fundraise and IPO if you’re interested.

🎉 In the third-largest deal this year, Teladoc acquired Livongo for $18.5b

Some people are calling it an acquisition, others a merger, but whatever it is it’s a big deal to the tune of a joint enterprise value of about $37b. It’s the epitome of what we’ve been seeing throughout this pandemic, the explosive growth of both telehealth and remote care / digital therapeutics as individuals requiring treatment attempt to obtain care while remaining home. As of the date of the announcement Teladoc had already tripled in value this year and Livongo was up almost six-fold.

The two businesses complement each other nicely to create what executives are calling “whole person care”. Teladoc allows patients to see doctors and specialists when needed, while Livongo keeps patients engaged and following treatment plans in-between telehealth visits. They also have little overlap between their current customers - only 25% - which no doubt helped the deal wrap up so quickly, in under 3 months. With the financial tailwinds of the telehealth boom and investor interest in digital health spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, make sure to watch this space, I expect we’ll be seeing more activity very soon.

“Stock prices have gotten so high with these tech companies and COVID-19 plays that they’re going to use their stock as currency to make acquisitions like this.”

For more about this historic merger, click here.

Medical home-visit startups are red hot: Heal raised $100m & Ready raised $54m

Fresh off the heels (another pun!) of DispatchHealth’s $135.8m fundraise which we chronicled in the last newsletter, Heal and Ready have both armed their war chests in response:

  1. Heal raised $100m to expand beyond the 8 states it operates in and start providing both physical therapy and dermatology (link)
  2. Ready, which does home-visits as well as telemedicine, raised a $54m series C to expand its services to mental health, point-of-care testing, and vaccinations (link)

It’s not surprising how well this category is doing, particularly given how it compliments telehealth, which is booming. No matter how good the medical provider is on the other side of the screen, there are limits to what telehealth can provide. When they need to draw blood or perform a physical, telehealth physicians can now call on these new home-visit companies and rely on them to perform in-person all that they cannot do virtually.

In other news…

Doctor on Demand, the on-demand telehealth startup, raised a $75m series D to keep up with COVID-19 based demand and expand its mental health services (link)

Oak Street Health, which operates primary care centers for Medicare patients, raised $328m in its IPO, valuing the company at $8.8b (link)

PayActiv, the fintech product helping care providers retain employees, raised a $100m series C to rapidly expand its customer base (link)

The Helper Bees, home care meets insuretech startup, raised a $6m series A to expand into worker’s comp and disability insurance (link)

Uniper Care, the TV-based at-home engagement platform, raised a $4m series A extension to keep up with demand and accelerate product development (link)

Roundtrip, the non-emergency medical transportation provider, also raised a $4m series A extension to expand into new markets (link), the AI-based optimal medicare plan chooser, raised a $1.5m seed extension to fuel its pivot to a SaaS product for brokers (link)

True Link, the fintech for family caregivers platform, raised a $35m series B to add life insurance and more credit-based services into its lineup (link)

Patient Ping, the medical care-coordination notification service, raised a $60m series C to expand into new US markets (link)

K4Connect, the company that’s digitizing senior care facilities, raised a $7.7m series B extension to attempt to penetrate the aging-in-place market (link)

Evidation, the virtual clinical trial data collection platform, raised a $45m series D to extend into virtual treatment (link)

🎉 Carely, the family caregiver support and engagement app, went on an acquisition spree acquiring both Ro & Steve & for undisclosed amounts

Orpyx, developer of smart insoles to prevent ulcers, raised a $7.6m series A to start commercializing its technology (link)

Mighty Health, the nutrition and fitness wellness app for older adults, raised a $2.8m seed round to beef up the product team and start integrating with fitness trackers (link)

Withings, manufacturer of smart scales and other devices for remote monitoring, raised a $60m series B to scale its care provider-facing offerings and add 100 employees (link)

Bodyport, inventor of a smart scale that can detect signs of cardiovascular disease, raised a $11.2m series A to get FDA clearance and start commercializing its device (link)

Thirty Madison, provider of telemedicine for hair loss, migraines, and acid reflux, raised a $47m series B from Johnson & Johnson to expand into other chronic conditions and urgent care (link)

Podimetrics, creator of a smart mat for foot ulcer prevention, added $8m in a series B extension to accelerate its sales efforts within the VA and to other payers (link)

Carewell, an e-commerce site for family caregivers, raised a $5m seed to expand its product offerings and develop more educational resources (link)

Medigate, the cybersecurity startup which protects IoT and smart medical devices, raised a $30m series B to continue scaling and expand into clinical analytics (link)

Papa, provider of grandchildren-on-demand, raised a $18m series D to expand into an additional 4 states, bringing the total to 21 so far (link)

🎉 Sentrics, the all-in-one safety & engagement platform for senior living facilities, acquired Luna Lights for an undisclosed amount (link)

TCare, the platform that uses predictive analytics to prevent family caregiver burnout, raised a $3m series A to expand geographically (link)

Domalys, creator of a connected lamp that prevents falls, raised €4.5m to attempt to penetrate the US market (link)

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