Kaiser Permanente Ventures Backs Hometeam with $5 Million

An innovative home care startup that has captured headlines with its successful funding rounds has snagged another big investment. In-home care provider Hometeam has secured a $5 million investment from Kaiser Permanente Ventures, the venture capital arm of California-based health care giant Kaiser Permanente.

Hometeam raised $38.5 million prior to Kaiser Venture’s latest stake, with its previous round of funding coming in at $27.5 million with the addition of an investment from Oak HC/FT. The company secured investments from Lux Capital, IA Ventures and Recruit Strategic Partners in initial funding rounds.

Hometeam’s unique approach of connecting seniors in need of in-home care with expert caregivers with its own software technology has helped the company stand out among other technology-based home care startups, said founder and CEO Josh Bruno. Similar startups also have secured major investment rounds. In an increasingly crowded field, these companies are seeking to differentiate themselves; among Hometeam’s distinguishing characteristics are its “Beautiful Days” program and Bruno’s stint volunteering with 40 different agencies to learn the industry.

“The reason that Kaiser Ventures invested is because they see the future of health care moving toward the home,” Bruno told Home Health Care News. “They looked at a lot of the solutions out there and saw Hometeam as one of the most innovative ways to care for older adults, to create beautiful days for older adults and keep people safer, happier and healthier in the home.”

While the investment from Kaiser Ventures does not include any explicit operational integration between Hometeam and the Kaiser health system, Hometeam will be gaining a new board member from Kaiser Ventures, Jordan Kramer. He will serve as an observer. With this addition, Hometeam will be able to benefit from the expertise of the Kaiser name through a strategic investment, according to Bruno.

“We will be using the expertise from all that Kaiser knowledge of doing patient-centric care,” Bruno said. “Their health system runs the gamut from the insurer to the hospital to the physician to the rehab center and to in-home nursing care as well. They are very much experts in delivering innovative care. Were going to get the value and insight from that organization, and I think they are going to help us deliver better care for older adults in all the market that we serve.”

At this time, Hometeam is not considering being acquired in its near future, but plans to use the investment as part of its expansion throughout 2016. This year, the company plans to open eight to 10 new locations beyond its current market in metropolitan New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia. The company plans to harness its established partnerships, as well as seek new ones in markets where demand is high in its expansion strategy.

“Today we work with rehab facilities, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, hospice companies, insurance companies,” Bruno said. “Where we have strong partnerships, we will be opening up [new locations] in conjunction with those. There are some cities that are underserved by great in-home caregiving companies, and we want to be spreading out mission there first.”

The company is currently growing at a rate of roughly 20% month to month, according to Bruno. In addition to new locations, the software development will expand from 20 individuals to 60 over the next year. Hometeam is also planning to roll out more clinical programs to train caregivers and “give our caregivers superpowers,” Bruno told HHCN.

The company will continue to focus its software at enabling seniors at home to receive the care they need and enhancing the ability of family members to be a part of a care plan remotely.

“It really bothers me that older adults today are left sitting alone in what I would call vegetative care,” Bruno said. “They are not given companionship or proper medical care or proper meals, even. And I want to change that. We’re not going to stop until we can make a big difference in the lives of older adults and it looks very different to age in this country.”

Written by Amy Baxter