Expands Relationship with Anthem-affiliated health plans to Become Preferred Diabetes Prevention Program and Power Sydney Platform
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (October 8, 2020) — Lark Health today announced it has closed a $55 million Series C funding round led by King River Capital, as well as a $15 million venture debt credit facility with Trinity Capital and Bridge Bank. The round also includes new investors Franklin Templeton, SteelSky Ventures, and Olive Tree Capital; and existing Lark investors Lightspeed Ventures, Asset Management Ventures, Dr. Jonathan Fielding of UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, and Weili Dai, co-founder of Marvell. Lark has raised a total of over $100 million in equity and debt funding to date.
Having managed nearly two million patients on its platform, Lark will use the funds to further expand its relationships with commercial payers and telehealth providers for chronic disease prevention and management. For example, Lark will expand its relationship with health plans affiliated with Anthem, Inc. to power A.I.-driven well-being coaching in the health plans’ mobile app. In addition, Lark is now the Preferred Provider for its Diabetes Prevention Program to these Anthem-affiliated health plans, which has received the highest level of clinical recognition- Full Recognition- from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Anthem’s affiliated health plans strive to build a digital-first experience that can deliver innovative products and services, focused on improving consumers’ health and wellbeing,” said Rajeev Ronanki, Anthem’s Chief Digital Officer. “Lark’s use of conversational A.I. to scale personalized, evidence-based, and engaging healthcare services can help achieve health outcomes on-par with programs based on in-person interactions.”
Lark’s programs provide members with unlimited 24/7 personal counseling in real-time in an easy-to-use, text message-like modality. Powered by conversational A.I., the platform seamlessly addresses the whole person, with counseling for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, prediabetes, smoking cessation, stress, anxiety, and weight management, and it incorporates smart connected devices, like blood pressure cuffs, scales, and glucose meters, that sync with the program to help remotely monitor conditions. When an emergent situation or complex question arises, Lark escalates the concern to a live interaction telephonically or provides a recommended next step.
“Lark combines proven clinical results with exceptional ability for people to comfortably and effectively manage a variety of health conditions from the safety and privacy of their homes,” said King River Capital co-founder and partner Zebediah Rice. “Lark’s scalable platform enables millions more people to receive affordable and on-demand care.”
“There is a clear need for virtual care solutions that use A.I. to help scale high-touch, frequent, and personalized care to millions of people. Lark’s cognitive behavioral therapy framework and ability to integrate with existing health monitors and clinical programs make it uniquely suited to meet this moment in health care, and that’s what has led to incredible momentum with both national and regional health plans,” said Ryan Biggs of Franklin Templeton, a Director with the Franklin Venture Partners team.
Through its use of A.I., Lark is able to scale personalized care at less than half the cost of other chronic conditions management services, which rely entirely on telephonic or in-person resources for coaching interaction, while maintaining similar clinical outcomes across the disease spectrum. Most recently:
- A study published in 2019 of Lark for Diabetes found that members achieved a significant reduction in A1c levels of 1.1 points after just four months. A 1-point reduction in A1c resulted in a 43 percent lower rate of diabetes-related complications according to a study in the Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy.
- A study of Lark for Hypertension found that members reduced blood pressure by 8.4/6.4 mm Hg on average after six months. A 5 mm Hg sustained reduction in blood pressure is estimated to reduce the risk of stroke mortality by 14 percent, according to a study in the Journal of Hypertension.
- In a study of nearly 25,000 Lark Diabetes Prevention Program users who live in health provider shortage areas, participants experienced an average weight loss of 4.3 percent after one year, demonstrating Lark’s ability to reach people in areas where health care is less accessible and the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes is greatest.
“Our mission has always been to provide personalized and immediate care driven by A.I. to people at-risk of chronic conditions, and this new funding and expanded relationship with Anthem are tremendous votes of confidence in Lark’s approach to virtual care,” said Julia Hu, CEO of Lark Health. “It is more important than ever before that millions of people at-risk of or managing chronic conditions have access to compassionate care at home, and we are excited to work with innovative commercial payers, telehealth providers, and others to build the future for virtual care.”
Lark Health is a chronic disease prevention and management platform that uses a cognitive behavioral therapy framework, conversational A.I., and connected devices to help people stay healthy and in control of their conditions. Lark’s A.I. is continuously learning how to personalize the experience for the member and communicates via text-message-like interactions to monitor patients remotely, 24/7, while live nurses and health coaches are available when issues need to be escalated. Lark’s Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), which is Fully Recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Behavioral Health Program, Diabetes Care Program, and Hypertension Program have served nearly 2 million members, and have demonstrated clinically validated outcomes. Lark works with many of the largest health plans and self-insured employers to help their members and employees live healthier lives. Founded by CEO Julia Hu and CTO Jeff Zira in 2011, the company has received numerous awards, including being named by Fierce Healthcare as one of 2020’s Fierce 15 changing the world by changing the healthcare industry. To learn more, visit www.lark.com.
About King River Capital
King River Capital (KRC) is a venture capital firm that partners with exceptional entrepreneurs and management teams to build innovative, iconic technology companies in the United States and Australia. KRC invests in post-revenue, high-growth software and A.I.-driven businesses that are solving critical problems within large markets. Since its first fund launched in 2018, KRC has invested in seven companies, across sectors including fintech, healthcare, cybersecurity, and the future of work. The firm was founded by three partners with a strong track record in venture investing, and whose legacy portfolio comprises over 50 companies across multiple markets. To learn more, visit www.kingriver.co.