San Francisco-based ConsejoSano, which makes a health services navigation platform for Spanish speakers in America, has raised $4.9 million in Series A funding in a round led by 7wire Ventures. Tufts Health Ventures, TOTAL Impact Capital, Wanxiang Healthcare Investments, Acumen, Oxeon Partners and Impact Engine also contributed, bringing the company’s total funding to date at $7.2 million.
The company, whose name means “HealthyAdvice” in Spanish, mainly works with health plans, employers and at-risk providers who are trying to increase engagement from their Spanish-speaking customers, employees and patients. ConsejoSano’s integrated platform arms clients with multi-channel messaging, care navigation, data analytics and 24/7 access to native Spanish-speaking medical navigators. The latest funding will be used to develop more sophisticated data collection and analytics that will be parlayed into preventive care. While many healthcare and technology companies offer Spanish-language options, like Anthem BlueCross's Spanish telemedicine and messaging capabilities, most function as add-ons to the more comprehensive services offered mainly in English. That's where ConsejoSano wants to set itself apart.
“America is bilingual, but healthcare isn’t,” ConsejoSano on its website, referencing the 54 million Hispanic people in the country, of whom 73 percent prefer to speak Spanish. Working off the fact that mobile phone penetration among the Hispanic population is significant – 92 percent own a cellphone, according to a 2015 Research Center survey – ConsejoSano offers secure, two-way text messaging so users can reach out directly to their target population with timely, customized information and behavior change programs.
"The extraordinary interest we have received from clients seeking to better serve their Spanish speaking employees, insured customers, and patients has clearly demonstrated the need for ConsejoSano's unique services," ConsejoSano Founder and CEO Abner Mason said in a statement. "Over 40 million people in the United States prefer or need to speak in Spanish about healthcare issues, and we're committed to helping clients and partners to provide the care and support they deserve."
ConsejoSano was founded in 2014, and it was selected as a preferred vendor by global consultancy firm Mercer last year. Among their first clients were LaSalle Medical Associates, a large Southern California provider that primarily serves a Medicaid population, and labor union health plan Unite Here Health, which serves restaurant and hotel workers. The company also has an Industry Advisory Council of healthcare professionals with a mission to reduce healthcare disparities for Hispanics across the country.
“Today’s health care system can often be complex, and almost impossible to navigate for those who speak a primary language other than English,” Derek Abruzzese, managing director of Tufts Health Ventures and chief strategy officer of Tufts Health Plan, said in a statement. “ConsejoSano performs a very important service for its clients, simplifying the complicated health care world for Spanish speaking individuals. This investment is in line with our mission of improving the health and wellness of the diverse communities we serve.”