Digital chronic care management tool Lark Health scooped up $55 million in its Series C round. In addition to the venture funding, the company added another $15 million through venture debt credit.
Kind River Capital led the round with participation from Franklin Templeton, SteelSky Ventures, Olive Tree Capital, Lightspeed Ventures, Asset Management Ventures and individual investors.
The company reports that to date it has a total of $100 million in equity and debt funding.
WHAT IT DOES
Lark was founded in 2011 and has since created an AI-based chronic disease management platform. The company got its start in the diabetes space, treating mainly prediabetes, but has expanded and now has programs for Type 2 diabetes, hyper tension and behavioral health.
In January, the company rolled out a new behavioral health coaching service targeted at individuals at risk for chronic conditions.
“We’re really trying to address the big chronic conditions of our generation, and our approach to this was different than others,” CEO Julia Hu told HIMSSTV.
Hu grew up with a chronic condition, and said that experience led her to found the company.
“I’ve had a chronic condition all my life so I came about it from a consumer point of view,” she told HIMSSTV. “This 24/7 personal care team was so lovely for me, but I knew it wasn’t scalable. I was very geeky. I worked with a bunch of AI technologists, and said, 'Why don’t we try to create an AI nurse and do a text messaging-based program based on all of the data we are seeing from consumer health, and health monitors but through text messaging?'
"So that really was the beginning of Lark. We trained our AI on about a million patients before we started getting clinical equivalents to live nurses. So today we are healthcare provider treating about 2 million patients.”
Last year it inked a deal with 23andMe on a new initiative that integrates a user’s 23andMe genetic information into Lark’s Wellness Program and Diabetes Prevention Program. The idea was that Lark’s AI weight loss and wellness coach would be able to access a user’s genetic information to personalize strategies for losing weight.
WHAT IT’S FOR
The new funds will go towards expanding the company’s relationship with insurance companies and telehealth providers. In the latest announcement, the company announced that it is teaming up with Anthem providers and is designated as the preferred provider for Anthem-affiliated health plans.
THE LARGER TREND
The chronic-care management space has a lot of activity in the digital health world. Over the summer, telehealth provider Teladoc acquired digital chronic-care management company Livongo for a record-breaking $18.5 billion.
Omada is another company that got its start in the diabetes space. Today it calls itself a chronic-care management company. In the spring, the company bought digital physical-therapy platform Physera.
Virta, a company focused on reversing diabetes, announced yesterday that it is rolling out a new pre-diabetes and obesity program.