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Exclusive: Carewell nabs $25M Series B

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Feb 22, 2024
Illustration of a cash register with glowing red health pluses displayed on the screen.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Carewell, an online retailer for home health and caregiver products, raised a $24.7 million Series B led by MBF Healthcare principals, CEO Bianca Padilla tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: With an overwhelming majority of Americans planning to age at home, demand for caregiver resources will only continue to grow.

How it works: Newly based in Miami, Carewell wants to be the caregiver equivalent of pet care e-commerce retailer Chewy, Padilla says.

  • Caregivers can peruse a broad section of home health products across incontinence, nutrition, mobility, wound care, and maternal and child health.
  • Carewell's customer service team offers advice, product recommendations, and caregiving guidance and support.

What's happening: Alongside the fundraise — which included existing investors Sageview Capital and Headline and is designed to last more than two years — Carewell hired several senior executives from Chewy to fill its C-suite.

What's next: With MBF's guidance and relationships, Carewell hopes to expand into a B2B model, targeting health systems and payors as potential sales channels.

  • "We do believe that we can provide a lot of value on a B2B side," says MBF managing partner Jorge Rico. Carewell has already met with one hospital system, he adds.

Flashback: MBF didn't expect its first meeting with Carewell to result in an investment, Rico tells Axios.

  • "We were asked as a favor to meet with her and just provide some advice," he tells Axios. But the private equity firm was impressed with Padilla's team and passion, he says.
  • "It's definitely a heavy lift but we really did feel that there was a tremendous opportunity in the market, especially when providing health care products," Rico says.

What they're saying: "When I was the first time caregiver, we brought my grandmother home from an unexpected surgery and she lost 90% of her mobility," Padilla says.

  • "There weren't any resources for us to understand how to care for her," she says.

Between the lines: A combination of price inflation, labor shortages and supply chain pressures has battered Chewy's stock price in recent years.

  • Price inflation is a concern for Carewell too, though Padilla says she hopes to lean on learnings from the former Chewy execs joining Carewell.
  • "What they bring to the table is experience navigating a fast growing e-commerce company. And they've successfully created a household name," Padilla says.
  • More than 80% of the products Carewell sells are consumable, repeat purchases and its autoship program comprises a large portion of its revenue, she says.
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