Cayaba Care Secures $12M in Series A Funding to Expand Maternity Health Access and Services to Underserved Populations
Round led by Seae Ventures and Kapor Capital focused on bringing doctors, social workers and software engineers together to better address rising maternal morbidity rate.
PHILADELPHIA, May 19, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Cayaba Care, a maternity health startup, announced today the closing of a $12 million Series A round that will work to expand the company's footprint within underserved populations. The funding will be used to increase staff, launch in additional markets and further invest in technology solutions that will increase access to much-needed holistic maternity services. The Series A round is led by Seae Ventures and Kapor Capital and includes new investors Wellington Partners, Citi Impact Fund and Rhia Ventures.
Founded in 2020 with a mission to improve community outcomes by reimagining how maternity and pediatric care is delivered, Cayaba Care focuses on bridging the maternal health gap for the more than 60,000 U.S. women who are affected by severe maternal morbidity. This latest round, which totals $15M to date with return investments from 100 percent of its institutional seed round funders (Digitalis Ventures, SteelSky Ventures, Flare Capital), will allow Cayaba to further expand its home-based multidisciplinary care team and provide holistic pregnancy care for the various populations it serves.
"Our team feels grateful to have the opportunity to continue to do this important work. As a former emergency room doctor, a healthcare insurance executive and most importantly, as a father, I have seen the vast gaps in the system for maternity healthcare, particularly affecting communities of color," said Dr. Olan Soremekun, CEO and cofounder of Cayaba Care. "Through this investment, Cayaba will be able to support pregnant people and families in a meaningful way that will reverse the trend of maternal morbidity for our country."
Diversity Driven Leadership For Equitable Community Outcomes
One of the other ways Cayaba Care seeks to grow and scale a unique solution in this space is by establishing a diverse Series A Board that is 50% Women as well as 50% Black, a rarity given the demographics of the venture capital industry. According to the US Census Bureau, fewer than 4% of healthcare and social services companies are Black-owned, while U.S. women+ digital health dollars make up just 5% of all digital health funding secured, according to data analyzed by Rock Health. By ensuring diverse representation of the populations it serves, Cayaba aims to increase the cultural competency needed to close the maternal morbidity issue that is impacting these underserved populations.
Severe maternal morbidity is defined as an unexpected outcome during pregnancy, labor and delivery or postpartum that has serious short- or long-term health impacts and which largely differs among races and ethnicities with Black mothers being three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women.
"I am highly concerned about the maternal morbidity rates trend we are seeing nationwide, particularly when we consider the racial disparities we are seeing in the quality and delivery of healthcare, and in the prevalence of underlying chronic conditions and implicit bias," said Seae Ventures Principal and Cayaba Care board member Arianne Kidder. "Our team is proud to invest in and support Cayaba Care's blend of holistic maternity support, proprietary technology and community sourced maternity navigators to ensure that Black women are receiving trusted care and that we are improving health outcomes for birthing moms everywhere."
U.S. Maternal Mortality On The Rise
In 2018, a study from the Commonwealth Fund found that the U.S. recorded a maternal mortality ratio of 20 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, the worst among developed countries. Additionally, the study noted:
- The U.S. was one of only two countries (along with the Dominican Republic) to report a significant increase in its maternal mortality ratio
- The estimated total maternal morbidity costs for all U.S. births in 2019 to be $32.3 billion.
- More than 700 women die of pregnancy-related complications each year and over two-thirds of these deaths are preventable.
- The rate of maternal morbidity in the US has doubled in the last few decades, and is also double that of most other developed countries.
"Cayaba Care's concierge solution provides wrap-around services for low-income expectant mothers; women who have historically lacked access to such high-quality personalized care," said Kapor Capital Partner Ulili Onovakpuri. "We at Kapor Capital were impressed by the team's fast progress and huge impact, serving over 1000 moms and opening an in-person clinic in less than a year. This round of funding will help accelerate their growth and push to transform maternal health outcomes for low-income women and women of color across the U.S."
Cayaba Care + Local Partners = Compassionate Quality Care
To date, Cayaba Care has had great success in establishing its model of healthcare services. Patients who are part of the Cayaba Care program, when compared to those who are not:
- Are three times more likely to attend their scheduled OB appointments
- See a 35% reduction in emergency room visits.
Cayaba has also achieved high ratings for their patient care, with over 90% of members saying they would recommend the service to a friend.
As part of their local-first model, Cayaba Care partners with health systems such as Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia and Penn Medicine, as well as community organizations such as high schools, nonprofits, church groups, and local agencies to provide holistic, home-based care beyond what existing services can provide.
"Partnering with Cayaba Care offers a unique opportunity for our health system to partner with an integrated supportive care service model that may improve care delivery while evaluating its impact on the health outcomes of birthing patients and their families," says Dr. Sindhu Srinivas, Director of Obstetrical Services at HUP and vice chair for quality and safety in the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Pennsylvania.
The Cayaba Care Approach
Cayaba Care is helping members have healthy deliveries and a comfortable pregnancy journey that takes into account their overall physical, mental, and emotional health for the long term. To do this, Cayaba Care:
- Provides a single point of contact, a local, trained Maternity Navigator who is the go-to point person for resources, logistics, accountability and emotional support.
- The Maternity Navigator and patients still receive support from a diverse staff of nurse practitioners, OBGYNs, lactation consultants, social workers and behavioral health specialists.
- Regular in-home and virtual visits to meet patients where they are and remove the cost barrier of transportation, childcare, and time taken off of work.
About Cayaba Care
Cayaba Care is a maternal health company offering community-based clinical services via technology-enabled multidisciplinary care teams. Cayaba Care provides care coordination, benefit sign-up, routine maternity care in the prenatal and postpartum period, mental health/counseling, breastfeeding support, and patient education. For more information about Cayaba Care, visit https://www.cayabacare.com.
About Dr. Olan Soremekun
Cayaba Care CEO and founder Dr. Olan Soremekun previously held executive roles at Cigna Health Insurance where he worked on supporting physician adoption of value-based programs and population health strategies. In addition, he has held several physician leadership roles at Jefferson Health and University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Soremekun earned his MD-MBA degree from Columbia University and completed his residency in Emergency Medicine at the Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Program.
About Seae Ventures
Founded in 2019, Seae Ventures is dedicated to building and investing in early-stage healthcare technology and services companies primarily founded by women and people who identify as Black, Indigenous and people of color. With a proven track record of success in venture, corporate strategy, innovation, and human capital, Seae Ventures seeks to balance the needs of patients, providers, and payers by investing in diverse entrepreneurs with high growth potential in the healthcare and financial technology space. For more information on Seae Ventures, visit https://www.seaeventures.com.
About Kapor Capital
Since 2011, Kapor Capital has invested exclusively in early-stage, tech-driven companies committed to closing gaps of access, opportunity, or outcome for low-income communities and/or communities of color. Led by Ulili Onovakpuri and Brian Dixon, who became managing partners in January 2021, Kapor Capital was one of the first venture capital firms to openly accept cold requests via the website, create a fellows program providing a pathway for individuals underrepresented in venture to enter investing, and launch the Kapor Capital Founders' Commitment to help portfolio companies make collective progress in diversity, equity, and inclusion. As a family of organizations, Kapor Capital, Kapor Center, and SMASH work collectively at the intersection of tech, diversity, and entrepreneurship to end racial and gender inequities that persist in the tech ecosystem. Learn more at https://www.kaporcapital.com
Sonia V. Diaz
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SOURCE Cayaba Care
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