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Exclusive: Homethrive raises $20 million to address caregiver crisis

Sarah Pringle
May 20, 2022
Illustration of a house wearing a stethoscope

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Homethrive collected $20 million in Series B funding led by Human Capital, the Northbrook, Illinois-based startup tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: America is facing a family caregiver crisis as the country ages, and Homethrive is dedicated to helping change course.

  • Burdens on unpaid caregivers, particularly women and the sandwich generation, compromises both the mental and physical health of this large and expanding group.
  • It's also contributing to the Great Resignation. "The intent to resign has never been higher," co-founder Dave Greenberg says. "We don't think people have to make a choice [between their families and career]."

Details: The Human Capital-led round pushes Homethrive to $43 million in funding to date. Allianz and existing investors 7wireVentures and Pitango HealthTech participated in the round.

  • Some 75% of the capital infusion is earmarked to support sales and marketing as it looks to push deeper into the self-insured employer and payor markets.
  • The rest will be deployed to invest behind its product and tech stack, which Homethrive co-founder David Jacobs says will increasingly incorporate machine learning and AI to offer a more personalized, responsive experience.

How it works: Homethrive provides caregiving support by meshing a high-touch service with self-help technology.

  • Its platform, Dari, offers families 24/7 access to resources and content that tackle specific topics ranging from Alzheimer’s to Medicare, and as needed, matches families with dedicated care guides for live one-on-one support.
  • Supporting and engaging caregivers is also an effective way to get seniors to identify and access benefits that often go unused. "Family caregivers are one of the greatest force multipliers in that equation," adds Jacobs.

State of play: Payors recognize that the home is both the preferred setting of care and more cost-effective. But support targeting unpaid caregivers of loved ones that are aging or have special needs has historically lacked attention.

  • Caregiving historically has been discussed in the context of children, and now, Greenberg says, "family caregiving is really coming out of the shadows."

Yes, and: There are other VC-backed startups with employer-focused models like Cariloop and WellBe. But Homethrive's founders say Dari is the only caregiver support platform also targeting payors.

By the numbers: About one in three caregivers have voluntarily left their job because of caregiving responsibilities.

  • Jacobs says its members have found that, among those engaging with Homethrive's platform, it reduces caregivers' intent to resign by 80%.
  • Companies that use Homethrive are witnessing 40% utilization on average, he adds.
  • In 2020, there were close to 50 million unpaid caregivers in the U.S., per a study by AARP, and that rate is climbing as baby boomers age with complex and chronic conditions.

The bottom line: Just like paternity and maternity leave have become "part of the daily fabric", Greenberg envisions a future where very company offers family caregiving support. "We want to be the standard of care."

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