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Scoop: Minnesota senior care startup Lifespark seeks growth capital

Sep 19, 2022
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Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Lifespark, a tech-powered startup looking to reinvent senior care, is seeking $50 million in growth equity funding, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Despite an aging population with increasingly complex conditions, America's antiquated senior care model is contributing to tremendous waste in the health care ecosystem, and poor service to patients.

  • About 25% of the $3.6 trillion the U.S. spends on health care annually is potentially wasteful, per a 2019 JAMA report, with Medicare experiencing the fastest spending growth.

Details: Lincoln International is advising Lifespark on the process, which is well underway, sources say.

  • Sources pegged Lifespark's revenue at about $70 million to $80 million.

How it works: Lifespark, based in St Louis Park, Minnesota, says it provides whole-person senior services that allow older adults to live their best lives independently as they age.

  • Lifespark employs a network of clinicians, with longitudinal care offerings including personal care, home health, hospice and palliative care, primary care and skilled home care.
  • It coordinates various surrounding support services for well-being and help achieving life-goals, whether that's arranging volunteer opportunities, dog walkers, meal delivery or transportation.
  • This is fueled by its proprietary operating system, which uses predictive analytics to support preventative care, and combines traditional medical records with social determinants of health to power personalized care.

Flashback: Lifespark in October 2021 raised $20 million in a Series B round led by a fund managed by insider Virgo.

  • UCare, a Minnesota health plan and the state's largest Medicare Advantage provider, made a strategic investment in Lifespark concurrently.

Between the lines: Lifespark and UCare have partnered to develop value-based arrangements, consistent with CEO Joel Theisen's public commentary around his goal to support health care's shift to value-based payment, from fee-for-service.

  • Lifespark currently serves the Minneapolis and St. Paul region, with additional services in Wisconsin and Utah.

State of play: Various home- and senior care-focused startups have gained funding recently, all tackling the market with a different approach. For example:

  • Upward Health, a Providence, R.I.-based risk-bearing in-home care provider, closed an undisclosed Series B growth financing led by insider Heritage Group last week.
  • Honor, a San Francisco-based provider of senior personal care services, raised raised $70 million in Series E funding and $300 million in debt financing last October.
  • Vesta Healthcare, a New York-based home care startup focused on empowering caregivers, raised $65 million in growth capital led by Deerfield Management in April 2021.

Lifespark and Lincoln did not return Axios' requests for comment.

Claire Rychlewski contributed reporting.

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