Vida Health focused on scaling to meet COVID-19 demand for virtual care, CEO says

19 May 2020 - 01:54 pm UTC

by Kyle LaHucik in Chicago

Vida Health, a virtual care platform for physical and behavioral health, is focused on penetrating a frothy digital health market as it deploys a round of unsolicited funding spurred by the coronavirus pandemic, said Stephanie Tilenius, CEO and founder.

 

San Francisco-based Vida was still using proceeds from its USD 30m Series C, announced last June, when it took in a USD 25m Series D, announced 30 April, Tilenius said. The company was not seeking additional capital, but rather received a “lot of inbound interest" from investors due to spiking demand for virtual care, and decided to raise funds to scale, the CEO said. Tilenius declined to disclose valuation or other details around how the funding was structured.



Vida has added over 500,000 users to its platform and boosted employee headcount by over 100 since 1 March, Tilenius said. The coronavirus pandemic has amplified the company’s focus on chronic conditions and accelerated the digital health space, the CEO added.



Tilenius - a veteran of the tech industry with senior leadership experience at eBayPayPal and Google- said she is “hearing across the board” that the novel coronavirus is accelerating virtual healthcare, up to a decade by some projections.

"So in knowing that we were going to be accelerating and scaling, we just thought it made sense to do it,” Tilenius said, referring to the Series D, which was led by new investor Ally Bridge Group and included participation from existing investors NGP CapitalAME Cloud VenturesAspect VenturesWebb Investment NetworkCanvas Ventures and Workday Ventures. All rounds have been sourced in-house, the CEO said.



Series C investors also included strategics GuideWell Mutual Holding Corporation and Teladoc Health.

Tilenius declined to disclose Vida's revenue. The company is not yet profitable, Tilenius said, adding, “I don't know that it makes sense to be profitable right now with the market in front of us.” Vida has between 400 and 450 employees and will be north of 500 in the coming months, the CEO added.



Founded in 2014, Vida provides a personalized virtual care platform for physical and behavioral health for patients in all 50 US states. The company uses an individual’s health claims and biometric data to determine a personalized program and then pairs them with digital health coaches, therapists, registered dietitians or certified diabetes educators, dependent on their needs. Vida’s app has over 30 health trackers and integrates with more than 100 apps and devices, according to the company’s website.



The company sees a massive market opportunity, which is being even more exposed by COVID-19.



"Seventy-eight percent of ICU admits have an underlying chronic condition, so everything we did as a core product offering before COVID is now even more than ever necessary because people who have chronic disease do not want to get COVID," Tilenius said. "And, they want to manage their health to avoid it."



Tilenius said about 60% of consumers in the US have a chronic condition, with 40% having two or more. The company serves 1.4m patients mainly through enterprise customers and insurance carriers, but also has an individual option for USD 79 per month, according to the company’s website.



Mental health, another area that Vida focuses on, is being emphasized because of COVID-19, as well, Tilenius said. “We're seeing data that suggests that 70% of employees are exhibiting some kind of stress, depression or anxiety. Mental health is a big requirement for our employers and customers,” the CEO added.



While Tilenius worked on about 15 acquisitions during her career at eBay and Google, Vida Health has not made a buy to-date. With a focus on addressing demand caused by COVID-19, the CEO said M&A is “not top of mind” at this stage.



Vida’s competitors, which Tilenius said are vertical-focused, have taken in large capital raises in the past year. On the diabetes front, San Francisco-based Omada Health raised USD 73m last June and followed that up with an undisclosed investment from Intermountain Ventures in October and fellow San Francisco-based Virta Health raised USD 93m in a Series C announced 10 January.



Tilenius also considers Livongo Health a competitor. The Mountain View, California digital health company went public 25 July 2019, which was priced at USD 28 per share but closed at USD 38.10 per share on its first day of public trading, raising USD 408m, as previously reported. Livongo was trading at USD 58.53 per share Monday afternoon for a market cap of USD 5.69 bn.



On the mental health side, Tilenius pointed to Lyra Health and Ginger as Vida's main competitors. Burlingame, California-based Lyra raised USD 75m in a Series C announced 11 March, and San Francisco-based Ginger raised USD 35m in a Series C announced last September.



Vida counts Dallas-based Naturally Slim, backed by The Riverside Company, and UnitedHealth Group’s Real Appeal as competitors in the weight-loss space, Tilenius said.



Vida differentiates itself with its polychronic platform, Tilenius said, noting her experience building platforms at Google and eBay taught her the importance of addressing multiple chronic conditions to optimize scalability.



Tilenius founded Vida after realizing her father’s multiple chronic conditions were getting worse. Before founding Vida, the executive was vice president of commerce and payments at Google.



Fenwick & West provides legal services. Vida handles accounting in-house.