Cigna, Blue Shield of California Joins Cricket Health $ 83.5 Million Funding Round

Cricket Health announced Thursday that kidney care startup Cricket Health has raised $ 83.5 million in Series B funding, including money from two major insurance companies.

Valtruis, a newly formed portfolio company specializing in value-based aid, launched this week by private equity firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, spearheaded a $ 83.5 million round of funding. Cigna and Blue Shield of California, two Cricket Health clients, also participated. Cigna has already invested in Cricket Health. Other participants included venture capital firm Oak HC / FT and K2 HealthVentures, which provides debt and equity capital.

San Francisco-based Cricket Health has raised more than $ 120 million in equity and debt financing to date and will use millions of new investments to expand its kidney care services.

Insurance companies are rushing to eliminate the risk for patients with chronic kidney disease as patients with end-stage kidney disease become eligible for Medicare Advantage plans for the first time this year. Their strategies include impressive partnerships with startups like Cricket Health, Monogram Health, Strive Health.

Monogram Health Nashville, Tennessee, closed a $ 160 million Series B funding round in June, including an investment from Humana. Denver-based Strive Health raised $ 140 million in March Series B funding round led by private equity firm Alphabet CapitalG backed by St. Louis-based Ascension.

Cricket Health offers providers and payers a two-way service: technologies that tag patients in need of kidney treatment, and clinical care services.

The startup is building machine learning and predictive tools that identify patients with chronic and end-stage kidney disease and stratify patient groups based on their risk for each stage of the disease to reach patients early and begin providing care. Cricket Health also provides virtual and personal patient support services.

Medicare Advantage and commercial health plans contracted with Cricket Health reported an increase in the number of patients on outpatient or home dialysis and a decrease in hospital admissions, the company said. Since May 2020, Cigna’s has experienced a more than 50% reduction in hospital admissions among participants with kidney disease, according to data news release

Digital health startups around the world raised nearly $ 15 billion in the first half of 2021, more than double the amount raised in the same period in 2020, according to data compiled by Mercom Capital Group, research firm Mercom Capital Group. Almost a third of this funding went to companies that focused on service providers and practices.

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