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ianacare picks up $12.1M to fundamentally change the family caregiver experience



There are more than 54 million family caregivers in the United States. Working family caregivers spend an average of 25 hours a week caring for their loved ones on top of their full-time jobs, and ultimately, the current lack of support and resources drives 32% of them to leave their job to care full time. 

Jessica Kim, chief executive officer of ianacare, understands these statistics deeply as she made the difficult choice to leave her job in 2016 to care for her mom full time, as do nearly a third of working caregivers. Kim co-founded ianacare in 2018 after spending more than seven years caring for her mom during a cancer battle.  

Today, caregiver support is the most overlooked gap in healthcare and employee benefits. As per the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) report, about 61% of caregivers are women, while 39% are men. 

“For far too long, caregiving has been treated as an individual issue, and we’ve asked people to make the choice to either work or care for their families. We cannot authentically discuss keeping women in leadership or the workforce at large without addressing their care need,” Kim said. 

The Boston-based startup built a platform, which provides tech-enabled caregiver support through employers and health plans. Its mission is to encourage, empower and equip family caregivers with resources and communities, so no one has to do it alone.

ianacare announced this morning it has raised a $12.1 million Series A funding led by Greycroft with participation from 8VC, SemperVirensVC, Able Partners and Brown Alumni Group. Previous backers, including Slow, Founder Collective, Indicator Venture and Entrée Capital also made follow-on investments in the round.

The fresh capital, which gives ianacare a total of $16.7 million raised to date, will be used to scale sales, internal team and operations needed to meet the rising demand of companies looking to support family caregivers in their workforce. ianacare currently has seven full-time employees and will expand the team to more than 25 by the end of this year.

Steven Lee (COO of ianacare) and Jessica Kim (CEO of ianacare)

“For caregivers, ianacare is the front door to all the different types of support they will need in the home environment,” Kim said in an email interview. 

Through its free mobile app, users can organize and mobilize friends and family onto one team for easy coordination of everyday tasks such as dropping off groceries, picking up medication from the pharmacy, providing respite care and more, Kim said. This feature, also knowns as personal social circles, is available to download for all consumers and is used nationwide, even if their employer is not currently an enterprise partner, Kim added.  

The startup works with employers and institutions to offer a cost-effective and scalable enterprise solution as a benefit to working caregivers. Its enterprise solution, launched in March 2021, covers more than 400,000 lives through existing partnerships with employers like Anthem, an insurance company. 

“As we look ahead to launching with some of the nation’s largest employers in 2022, we are on track to grow to cover more than 1 million lives,” Kim said. 

To differentiate itself from other companies in the space, ianacare’s solution provides “unlimited access of online chat, phone, video with professional caregiver coaches,” which is just one of the five layers of support it offers, Kim said. Also, the platform is a one-stop-shop solution, connecting family caregivers to all the layers of support personalized for their specific home, work, and care situation. It can detect gaps in care and proactively fill those needs with resources available to the caregiver and care recipient, Kim continued. 

Image Credits: ianacare app / ianacare

“There are so many activities built into the care plan that fall to family caregivers – like medication management, transportation to and from appointments, managing dietary needs. Creating a true infrastructure of care in the home environment requires access, knowledge, and guidance,” said Steven Lee, COO and co-founder of ianacare. “What we realized was that thousands of resources and services already exist, but they are highly fragmented and difficult to find. The power of technology allows us to bring large systems together, enable simpler connection and coordination and deliver highly personalized experiences at scale,”  

The scalability of the ianacare platform has remained a focus and will become increasingly important in order to meet the fundamental increase in care happening in the home, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The ranks of family caregivers are on pace to exceed 75 million Americans over the next ten years; ianacare calculated the figure based on the rates of growth in caregiving in these stats – growing at more than 10 million every five years. There would be a tremendous impact on the U.S. healthcare system, society, culture, and workplace without proper support structures, the company said. 

Family caregivers, with an average age of 59, have higher rates of anxiety, depression, and disturbed sleep than non-caregivers, according to a report by New York Times. The startup claims that those with access to ianacare’s platform reported an 83% increase in productivity, a 30% decrease in stress and burden and 96% reported feeling supported by their employer, in a recent study of working family caregivers at Anthem conducted by Healthcore. 

“For the last several years, we’ve had a strong thesis that the caregiving space was ripe for innovative impact. When we saw the comprehensive nature of ianacare’s platform and the passion behind the founders’ personal experiences, we knew they were the right team to lead this incredible transformation,” said partner of Greycroft, Ellie Wheeler, who will join the ianacare board to support its next phase of growth. 

Source: Tech


Paack pulls in a $225M Series D led by SoftBank to scale its E-commerce delivery platform



By now, many of us are familiar with the warehouse robots which populate those vast spaces occupied by the likes of Amazon and others. In particular, Amazon was very much a pioneer of the technology. But it’s 2021 now, and allying warehouse robots with a software logistics platform is no longer the monopoly of one company.

One late-stage startup which has been ‘making hay’ with the whole idea is Paack, an e-commerce delivery platform which a sophisticated software platform that integrates with the robotics which are essential to modern-day logistics operations.

It’s now raised €200m ($225m) in a Series D funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. The capital will be used for product development and European expansion.

New participants for this round also include Infravia Capital Partners, First Bridge Ventures, and Endeavor Catalyst. Returning investors include Unbound, Kibo Ventures, Big Sur Ventures, RPS Ventures, Fuse Partners, Rider Global, Castel Capital, and Iñaki Berenguer.

This funding round comes after the creation of a profitable position in its home market of Spain, but Paack claims it’s on track to achieve similar across its European operations, Such as in the UK, France, and Portugal.

Founded by Fernando Benito, Xavier Rosales and Suraj Shirvankar, Paack now says it’s delivering several million orders per month from 150 international clients, processing 10,000 parcels per hour, per site. Some 17 of them are amongst the largest e-commerce retailers in Spain.

The startup’s systems integrate with e-commerce sites. This means consumers are able to customize their delivery schedule at checkout, says the company.

Benito, CEO and Co-founder, said: “Demand for convenient, timely, and more sustainable methods of delivery is going to explode over the next few years and Paack is providing the solution. We use technology to provide consumers with control and choice over their deliveries, and reduce the carbon footprint of our distribution.” 

Max Ohrstrand, Investment Director at SoftBank Investment Advisers said: “As the e-commerce sector continues to flourish and same-day delivery is increasingly the norm for consumers, we believe Paack is well-positioned to become the category leader both in terms of its technology and commitment to sustainability.”

According to research from the World Economic Forum (WEF), the last-mile delivery business is expected to grow 78% by 2030, causing a rise in CO2 emissions of nearly one-third.

As a result, Paack claim it aims to deliver all parcels at carbon net-zero by measuring its environmental impact, using electric last-mile delivery vehicles. It is now seeking certification with The Carbon Trust and United Nations.

In an interview Benito told me: “We have a very clear short term vision which is to lead sustainable e-commerce delivers in Europe… through technology via what we think is perhaps the most advanced tech delivery platform for last-mile delivery. Our CTO was the CTO and co-founder of Google Cloud, for instance.”

“We are developing everything from warehouse automation, time windows, routing integrations etc. in order to achieve the best delivery experience.”

Paack says it is able to work with more than one robotics partner, but presently it is using robots from Chinese firm GEEK.

The company hopes it can compete with the likes of DHL, Instabox, and La Poste in Europe, which are large incumbents.

Source: Tech

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Infermedica raises $30M to expand its AI-based medical guidance platform



Infermedica, a Poland-founded digital health company that offers AI-powered solutions for symptom analysis and patient triage, has raised $30 million in Series B funding. The round was led by One Peak and included participation from previous investors Karma Ventures, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Heal Capital and Inovo Venture Partners. The new capital means the startup has raised $45 million in total to date.

Founded in 2012, Infermedica aims to make it easier for doctors to pre-diagnose, triage and direct their patients to appropriate medical services. The company’s mission is to make primary care more accessible and affordable by introducing automation into healthcare. Infermedica has created a B2B platform for health systems, payers and providers that automates patient triage, the intake process and follow-up after a visit. Since its launch, Infermedica is being used in more than 30 countries in 19 languages and has completed more than 10 million health checks.

The company offers a preliminary diagnosis symptom checker, an AI-driven software that supports call operators making timely triage recommendations and an application programming interface that allows users to build customized diagnostic solutions from scratch. Like a plethora of competitors, such as Ada Health and Babylon, Infermedica combines the expertise of physicians with its own algorithms to offer symptom triage and patient advice.

In terms of the new funding, Infermedica CEO Piotr Orzechowski told TechCrunch in an email that the investment will be used to further develop the company’s Medical Guidance Platform and add new modules to cover the full primary care journey. Last year, Infermedica’s team grew by 80% to 180 specialists, including physicians, data scientists and engineers. Orzechowski says Infermedica has an ambitious plan to nearly double its team in the next 12 months.

Image Credits: Infermedica

“We will invest heavily into our people and our products, rolling out new modules of our platform as well as expanding our underlying AI capabilities in terms of disease coverage and accuracy,” Orzechowski said. “From the commercial perspective, our goal is to strengthen our position in the US and DACH and we will focus the majority of our sales and marketing efforts there.”

Regarding the future, Orzechowski said he’s a firm believer that there will be fully automated self-care bots in 5-10 years that will be available 24/7 to help providers find solutions to low acuity health concerns, such as a cold or UTI.

“According to WHO, by 2030 we might see a shortage of almost 10 million doctors, nurses and midwives globally,” Orzechowski said. “Having certain constraints on how fast we can train healthcare professionals, our long-term plan assumes that AI will become a core element of every modern healthcare system by navigating patients and automating mundane tasks, saving the precious time of clinical staff and supporting them with clinically accurate technology.”

Infermedica’s Series B round follows its $10 million Series A investment announced in August 2020. The round was led by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and digital health fund Heal Capital. Existing investors Karma Ventures, Inovo Venture Partners and Dreamit Ventures also participated in the round.

Source: Tech

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KKR invests $45M into GrowSari, a B2B platform for Filipino MSMEs



A sari-sari store owner who uses GrowSari

GrowSari, the Manila-based startup that helps small shops grow and digitize, announced today that KKR will lead its Series C round with a $45 million investment. The funds will be used to enter new regions in the Philippines and expand its financial products. The Series C round is still ongoing and the startup says it is already oversubscribed, with the final composition currently being finalized. 

Before its Series C, GrowSari’s total raised was $30 million. TechCrunch last wrote about GrowSari in June 2021, when it announced its Series B. Since then, it has expanded the number of municipalities it serves from 100 to 220, and now has a customer base of 100,000 micro, small and mid-sized enterprise (MSME) store owners. 

Founded in 2016, GrowSari is a B2B platform that offers almost every kind of service that small- to medium-sized retailers, including neighborhood stores that carry daily necessities (called sari-saris), roadside and market shops and pharmacies, need.

For example, it has a wholesale marketplace with products from major fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) brands like Unilever, P&G and Nestle. It partners with over 200 providers, like telecoms, fintechs and subscription plans, so sari-saris can offer services like top-ups and bill payments to their customers. 

Sari-sari operators can also use GrowSari to launch e-commerce stores and access short-term working capital loans to buy inventory. The startup’s other financial products include digital wallets and cash-in services, and it is looking at adding remittance, insurance and loans in partnership with other providers. 

The new funding will be used to expand into the Visayas and Mindanao, the two other main geographical regions in the Philippines, with the goal of covering all 1.1 million “mom and pop” stores in the Philippines. 

Source: Tech

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