Rippl, a startup focused on delivering virtual, mental healthcare to seniors with dementia and other neurocognitive conditions, raised $32 million in a seed funding round.
The Seattle-based company plans use the infusion of capital for strategic growth. According to the Rippl's co-founder and CEO, Kris Engskov, it will take a deliberate, calculated approach to building the company.
“This is a very difficult problem in healthcare,” Engskov said to Digital Health, Business & Technology. “It’s going to take some time, and I think our investors understand that.”
Rippl is coming out of stealth with some notable investors including ARCH Venture Partners and General Catalyst, which led the round. It also drew investments from GV (formerly Google Ventures), F-Prime Capital and Mass General Brigham Ventures.
Healthcare costs associated with the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease was estimated to total $305 billion in 2020, according to a 2020 report published in the American Journal of Managed Care.
Dementia encompasses any disease causing a change in memory, which limits a patient’s daily abilities. Alzheimer’s Disease is its most common form.
According to Engskov, Rippl's success will require it drive value in three distinct areas.
“Traditional fee for service healthcare doesn’t pay for holistic care in this space,” Engskov said. “That’s why we’re approaching this from a value-based glidepath. I think getting the right payer relationships early will be critical to our success.”
In addition to payers, Engskov said family caregivers and clinician buy-in will both be vital to program success and the company’s long-term development.
“Our investors and I are aligned on is that we’re going to do this the right way. We’re not going to grow for growth’s sake. We’re going to work on this model and get it right,” he said.
Rippl said it plans to begin offering pilot program services in Seattle this fall, and will look to add three to four additional markets by the end of 2023. It will also use the funding to hire and train its clinical and technology teams, launch its Seattle-based pilot network, and open a clinical support center.
The company plans to offer 24/7 virtual care access once it becomes operational.