Jan 11, 2022 - Economy

Scoop: Medicaid-focused Circulo acquires primary care startup Huddle

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Circulo Health, an Ohio-based insurance startup focused on people who use Medicaid, has quietly acquired primary care provider Huddle Health, Axios has learned. Circulo is also said to have partnered with telehealth startup Brave Health to deliver tele-psychiatry services.

Why it matters: Much of the recent healthcare buzz has focused on using tech to provide affluent people with more convenient, comprehensive care. That’s left people who use Medicaid or Medicare — notably, those most in need of care — behind.

  • Circulo is among a new crop of startups that's emerging to buck the trend, tailoring their products to the Medicaid and Medicare markets instead of the worried well. 
  • Before the acquisition, it had focused largely on honing its tech platform, which lets physicians and other medical staff collaborate in a patient’s care, including by providing access to food, transportation, and prescriptions. 
  • Last February, the company raised $50 million in Series A financing led by Drive Capital and General Catalyst, while Huddle raised a seed round from an undisclosed strategic investor in 2021.
  • As Huddle was preparing to collect its Series A, Reider met with Circulo CEO Sean Lane, and the pair began discussing a deal.

One fun thing: The deal will also help Circulo expand its mobile-van-powered telepsychiatry pilot for people with disabilities dubbed … wait for it … the “Circulator.” 

The bottom line: As the digital health consolidation war rages on, there's an industry-wide push for companies to offer many solutions under one roof.

Erin Brodwin will co-author the upcoming Axios Pro newsletter on health tech deals. Subscribe at AxiosPro.com.

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