Carbon Health pulls in $30M to become the ‘Starbucks of healthcare’

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San Francisco-based startup Carbon Health has nabbed $30 million in a Series B funding round led by Brookfield Growth Partners, the tech investing arm of  Brookfield Asset Management, an asset management firm focused on real estate, renewable power, infrastructure and private equity.

Other participants in the round included DCVC, founders from Flatiron Health and Clover Health, Builders VC, Bullpen Capital, Javelin Venture Partners and Two Sigma Ventures. Josh Raffaelli, managing director at Brookfield Growth Partners  has also joined Carbon’s board of directors as part of the deal

Carbon’s approach combines virtual care with in-person care at clinics.

Through its mobile app, patients can view their health records, set up appointments, make payments or conduct a video visit for conditions like allergies, sinus infections, high blood pressure, colds or back pain. Patients can also get treated for certain conditions such as poison ivy, cold sores and eczema by messaging Carbon providers in the app. Both types of virtual visits (video and message-based) are only currently available in California.

As for in-person care, the startup has seven clinics in the Bay Area. Depending on the location, patients can receive primary care, urgent care and orthopedics services.

Carbon Health does not charge a membership fee. It takes a variety of insurance plans, though it doesn’t accept Kaiser or Medi-Cal. Patients can also pay out of pocket for services.

With the new $30 million, the San Francisco company intends to expand its presence across California and the rest of the country. Carbon Health CEO Eren Bali said the company has 15 additional clinics already in the works with plans to scale up to 40 or 50 locations in next couple years.

Brookfield’s backing of Carbon Health provides extensive real estate and retail expertise as the healthcare company looks to grow its presence nationwide.

Bali said he saw immediate alignment with Brookfield’s effort to repurpose their existing real estate assets in the wake of a changing retail environment. Brookfield has recently taken a stronger position in health, purchasing major Australian hospital chain Healthscope in a $4.1 billion deal earlier this year.

“They understand the brick-and-mortar business very will and have incredibly good financial models for us to understand where to go into,” Bali said. “With them as a partner we’re in a very strong position to take the best locations available.” 

While Carbon owns and operates a portion of its own clinics, the major avenue for the company’s growth is partnering with health systems looking to expand their presence in retail-style consumer-oriented care. Health systems own the co-branded clinics which run of Carbon’s tech platform and the startup takes a cut of the facility’s revenue.

Two existing partnerships are with Fairfield, California-based NorthBay Healthcare and San Jose, California-based El Camino Health and Bali said the company has around a dozen more such collaborations in the works.

Bali said the company’s goal is to create “family wellness centers” that act as a one-stop-shop for a family’s health. That means widening out service offerings into areas including pediatric care, OB/GYN and low acuity mental health services.

He pointed to the company’s steady work in integrating with the wide array of healthcare systems – and soon – consumer wearables and remote monitoring devices as key to Carbon’s success.

Additionally, by designing the Carbon platform around effective data ingestion and data usage, Bali highlighted the ability to use analytics and machine learning to improve the company’s operational and clinical efficiency. He estimated that Carbon’s internal system can suggest the correct diagnosis for a patient with around 90 percent accuracy.

“We want to grow to several thousand clinics that are deeply integrated in the local and regional healthcare systems,” Bali said. “We’re looking to be the Starbucks of healthcare both in our distribution but also with that type of brand loyalty.”

In 2017, Carbon Health raised $6.5 million in a round led by early-stage investor Builders VC.

It’s not the only startup working to unite virtual and in-person care. New York City-based Eden Health, which recently raised a $10 million Series A round, has an employer-focused platform that combines virtual primary care services, physical in-person clinics and insurance navigation. There’s also One Medical, which has primary care offices in various cities across the U.S. and also offers an app that lets patients get virtual care, message their provider and book appointments.

Picture: claudenakagawa, Getty Images

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