Strive Health aims to slow the progression of kidney disease and is now armed with $140 million in Series B funding to scale its care model.
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The round was led by CapitalG and included new investor Redpoint and existing investors NEA, Town Hall Ventures, Ascension Ventures and Echo Ventures. Including the new funding, Strive raised a total of $223.5 million since the company was founded in 2018, according to Chris Riopelle, CEO of Denver-based Strive Health. That includes $80 million in Series A funding led by NEA in 2018, he said.
Kidney disease affects 37 million adults and is the nation’s ninth leading cause of death. The global end stage renal disease market is predicted to reach $172 billion by 2027, according to a report by Grand View Research.
Though the space is large, treatment of kidney disease has not changed much over the past 30 years, Riopelle said. Traditional care involves going into a dialysis center, and among the typical patients, 40 percent have never seen a nephrologist and experience up to five other simultaneous diseases and take more than 12 medications.
“They need to have the gaps to access care closed,” Riopelle added. “When we engage early, we can organize the data and normalize the experience so there can be targeted intervention. We can also help patients understand their treatment choices.”
Strive Health’s approach includes a Kidney Heroes team that is essentially a “boots-on-the-ground” group of specially trained clinicians in a geographical area that tap into data to slow patients’ disease progression and manage other avoidable health risks.
The team also provides the patient with information to guide them to either a transplant or flexible home dialysis. This method was proven to improve care quality and up to 29 percent in reduction of total health care spend, Riopelle said.
The Series B follows a period of “dramatic growth” and need for scaling the business, he said. The new funding will be invested in technology and product development, as well as hiring more caregivers and support staff to take care of patients.
Since 2018, the company has grown from six markets and 16,000 attributed lives to by next year expanding to more than 12 markets and close to 50,000 attributed lives, Riopelle said. In addition, Strive will add 250 new “Strivers,” the majority of which will work in the field.
Meanwhile, Sumiran Das, partner at CapitalG, said in an interview that his firm looked at the health care space and found two “mega trends:” the transition of payments from fee-for-service to value-based care, as well as the addition of technology.
The firm invests in companies addressing chronic care and areas where costs are disproportionately high, including kidney disease, which was an area ripe for change. Das considers Strive Health a “best-in-class” technology that is gathering data intelligently to predict disease progression.
“They have proven the Kidney Heroes teams in the market, and we are big believers in that mix of technology and service delivery,” he added. “We also liked that Strive was building an ecosystem around the patient. We were blown away by the team, which brings technology, industry and regulatory core capabilities.”
Illustration: Dom Guzman