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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.

Go deeper

Austin's big year for VC funding

Expand chart
Data: PitchBook & NVCA; Chart: Baidi Wang/Axios

Despite the pandemic and labor shortages, Austin's venture capital industry in 2021 continued to boom.

The big picture: Startup funding flowed in Austin last year, delivering 387 deals valued at a record-setting $4.9 billion — or 211% growth compared to the previous year — per data from PitchBook.

  • The investments range from seed money to later stage rounds, a sign Austin serves to benefit brand-new startups as well as growing companies.
Updated 4 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Contact tracing fizzles across America — New clues emerge on long COVID — Omicron is finally burning out — It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Virginia AG says public colleges can't mandate COVID vaccines —Alaska governor joins Texas lawsuit over National Guard vaccine mandate — Navy discharges 45 sailors for refusing vaccine — Spotify to remove Neil Young's music after his Joe Rogan ultimatum — White House: 60M households have ordered free COVID-19 rapid tests.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker