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Exclusive: Mighty Health's plan to keep seniors healthy and connected

Illustration of a nurse walking with an elderly man.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Mighty Health wants to keep seniors healthy and connected with proprietary coaching and exercise programs.

Why it matters: Mighty raised $7.6 million in a second seed round co-led by Will Ventures and GFT Ventures, CEO James Li tells Axios exclusively.

  • AARP, Mercury CEO Immad Akhund, Hyper, Baselayer Ventures and Z Venture Capital also joined the round.
  • The San Francisco-based company will use the capital to expand its strategic partnerships and launch chronic disease programs.

How it works: Mighty partners with commercial health plans including Medicare Advantage to offer adults over age 50 a free daily health program that includes low-impact workouts, custom nutrition plans and text-based health coaching.

  • "We help those partners fill a gap where most of their gyms and fitness solutions are oriented towards a younger population," says Li.
  • Other Mighty partners include Gympass and Forma, who offer the service for free to their employees.
  • All of Mighty's coaches are employees who are board certified and trained in the company's methodology.
  • GFT Ventures managing partner Jay Eum called the approach "a breath of fresh air," for older adults looking for an alternative to traditional gym programs or weight loss apps.

Of note: A Mighty-sponsored preprint study in JMIR found that out of 166 participants, 89% endorsed feeling healthier since starting the program and 78% reported mobility improvement.

  • Participants also lost an average of 11 pounds, and chronic disease participants reported positive outcomes such as lower A1C levels and improved blood pressure readings.

By the numbers: The company has served 200,000 customers to date.

  • Li says the majority of its customers are women and many come from rural areas with little or no access to high-speed internet.

State of play: The meteoric rise of Medicare Advantage plans and an aging elder population have made tools like those offered by Mighty increasingly popular. But while most competitors offer help navigating existing benefits, Mighty offers its own coaching and exercise tools.

The backstory: Li started Mighty after his father struggled to find appropriate health guidance after having emergency open-heart surgery.

  • "My dad relied on me as a kind of ad-hoc health coach, asking me things like, 'Am I allowed to do this? What should I be eating?'" Li says.
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