Humana makes strategic investment in connected diabetes management company Livongo

By Aditi Pai

Livongo, the mobile-enabled diabetes management company, has raised a strategic investment from Humana to support the company’s growth. Update: Humana invested $5 million in Livongo.

Prior to this investment, Livongo has raised at least $82.5 million to date. Just last month, the company announced a $44.5 million raise. Existing investors include Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, Cowen Private Investments, Sapphire Ventures, Zaffre Investments, the investment arm of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Wanxiang America Corporation, General Catalyst Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), and DFJ Venture. 

“Our industry’s continued shift to value-based care provides impetus for everyone to work together to reinvent healthcare, and our partnership with Livongo Health is a direct example of how collaboration between companies can work to move the needle,” Sarah Ahmad, VP and Head of Innovation for consumer health solutions at Humana, said in a statement.

Livongo Health’s offering, called Livongo for Diabetes, consists of connected devices, a smart cloud, and a virtual care team. The device, called In Touch, serves as both a connected glucometer and a pedometer and will allow easy sharing of the data. It’s a standalone device with a color touchscreen that is cellular-connected. The offering also offers unlimited test strips at no extra charge.

Livongo CEO Glen Tullman told MobiHealthNews last month that the company will use some of the funds from its most recent round to hire people for operations to handle growth — Livongo grew from 5,000 users last year to 10,000 this year and expects 40,000 users by the end of the year. The company also plans to expand capabilities of the product for people with diabetes and add other chronic conditions like hypertension and weight management.

In September 2015, Livongo hired Dr. Jennifer Schneider, former Chief Medical Officer of Castlight Health, as its Chief Medical Officer. In her new role, Schneider is responsible for product development, clinical analytics, and the company's clinical studies.

Around the same time, Livongo signed on home improvement store chain Lowe’s as a customer. Initially, Lowe’s deployed this program to employees and their family members who were diagnosed with diabetes in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Alabama. After getting positive results from the pilot, in March, Lowe’s deployed the program to employees and their dependents across the US. Livongo has signed with more than 50 large customers, including Quicken, Office Depot, Office Max, and SC Johnson. The company is also working with some payers, like Humana, Cigna, and a few of the Blues.