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Season Health strikes a deal

Illustration of a plate shaped like a health cross with a knife and fork on either side.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Season Health, a food-as-medicine startup, will acquire the clinical assets of the dietitian network Wellory.

Why it matters: The deal is set to expand insurance coverage for Season, which is a main roadblock for many food-as-medicine startups.

Details: Deal terms were not disclosed, but the transaction was financed through a SAFE note, with existing investors and strategic partners participating, a source familiar tells Aaron.

What they're saying: "This acquisition significantly grows the size and capabilities of our provider network, which is now 10 times larger, and vastly diversifies our group," says Josh Hix, CEO of Season.

  • "We are still well capitalized from our Series A and have no concrete plans to proactively fundraise at this time," he says.
  • "We will continue to look for smart and strategic partnerships."

How it works: Andreessen Horowitz-backed Season Health offers patients a combination of clinical care and access to affordable, medically tailored meals and groceries.

  • Season members engage with registered dietitians three to four times per month, on average, via both messaging and virtual visits, per the company.
  • Founded in 2019, Wellory is a nutrition care platform with registered dietitians, serving more than 120 million patients in-network.
  • Season will now serve all 50 states geographically in over 15 languages.
  • The combined business will be able to serve more patients with conditions like diabetes, chronic kidney disease, obesity, and high-risk pregnancy.

Catch up quick: Wellory has raised $5.37 million in seed funding from investors like Story Ventures and Harlem Capital. The business was valued at $10.5 million in 2020, according to PitchBook.

  • Season snagged a $34 million Series A led by Andreessen in March 2022, putting the company's pre-money valuation at $66 million, per PitchBook.

The big picture: Food-as-medicine is being embraced as a new appetizer on the menu of holistic care, but obstacles remain around data measuring and getting insurers on board.

Between the lines: Season's approach mitigates a scenario in which patients use benefits to buy unhealthful or non-nutritious food, codifying its network of food vendors.

  • Medicaid's food-as-medicine program, as it stands, doesn't have guardrails on what food can be bought with the money, Axios has reported.
  • Nor is data being collected on what people are buying, LexisNexis risk solutions government group CEO Haywood Talcove told Axios previously.
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