Out of Stealth, Caraway Raises $10.5 Million in Seed Funding, Led by 7wireVentures and OMERS Ventures, with Participation from Hopelab Ventures
NEW YORK, July 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Caraway, a women's+ digital healthcare company, emerged from stealth to take on the societal and medical imperative of caring for college students by providing integrated mental, reproductive and physical healthcare. Today's GenZers expect to receive healthcare on their own terms – an experience that is personalized, equitable and digitally accessible. Built with students for students, Caraway prioritizes the needs and concerns of college women+ during a key developmental-age window. Caraway's virtual care services are delivered 24/7, so women+ can get the care they need when they need it, and are set to launch in the fall of 2022.
Caraway was hatched through a partnership between 7wireVentures, OMERS Ventures, and veteran digital health leaders Lori Evans Bernstein and Joshua Tauber. A $10.5 million seed round was led by 7wireVentures and OMERS Ventures, with participation from Hopelab Ventures, as well as notable angel investors. The funding will be used to support the growing need for accessible, affordable and innovative healthcare solutions for women+ of all races, ethnicities, gender identities and sexual orientations.
"Many college students are in crisis, and for women, getting the care they need is increasingly challenging. It shouldn't be this way," said CEO and Co-founder Lori Evans Bernstein. "Our students go to college not only for an academic experience, but also to learn how to cope and flourish independently. Caraway combines an experienced clinical care team and passionate GenZers to support women+ in taking care of themselves in an increasingly complicated and hard to access healthcare system."
On-campus college healthcare services do not meet the demand for the U.S. population of approximately 10 million college women+. The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in an endemic of depression and anxiety, and a frightening escalation in suicide ideation, and suicide. A 2021 Healthy Minds Network study of college student mental health found that 34 percent of respondents had anxiety disorder and 41 percent reported depression. For students who have considered dropping out, a new report shows that 71% cited emotional stress as being a key factor.
Even before the overturning of Roe vs. Wade, there were barriers and persistent inequities in women's+ health and a need to ensure greater availability of care to college women+. The new reality facing women in many states makes the need all the more critical. Reproductive health and mental health go hand in hand, with the end of Roe worsening the campus mental health crisis. And, it cannot be ignored that unplanned pregnancy is the most common reason for dropping out of college.
"The need for robust health services for college women+ that provide high quality clinical care has intensified and has never been more clear," said Caraway Chief Health Officer Dr. Cheryl Baggeroer. "We've known for a long time that physical health affects mental health and vice versa, and that the best care addresses these needs simultaneously. Now more than ever, we need healthcare solutions that uncover early diagnoses and set the course for lifelong healthcare habits and overall well being."
How it Works:
Caraway's integrated care combines mental, reproductive and physical health by using a team-based and holistic approach. Patients benefit from enhanced collaboration between their doctors who work closely together to drive better outcomes. Caraway's care team of clinicians includes gynecologists, psychiatrists, family medical practitioners, adolescent specialists, therapist
s, nurses, and care coaches. Via its mobile application, Caraway will provide 24/7 access to virtual care for members, enabling them to:
- Chat with a nurse practitioner for any type of healthcare concern
- Schedule a telemedicine appointment with a doctor or nurse practitioner
- Connect to in-person care by actively assisting students with care referrals, coordination and follow up
- Engage in self-guided care programs and therapy
- Access personalized content most relevant to college women+ and the healthcare interactions they are experiencing
- Access test kits at "home" for UTIs and STI diagnosis and treatment
"Today's college women+ face far too many barriers in getting the care they need," said 7wireVentures Managing Partner Lee Shapiro. "As the first generation to grow up with the internet, they're turning to digital care services for an experience that provides convenience and autonomy over their health. Caraway's integrated care team does just that and meets them where they are."
"Women experience health care differently to men in a vast array of ways," said OMERS Ventures Health-Tech Investor Chrissy Farr. "Unless women have the information, support, and confidence to manage their bodies – and start advocating for themselves in healthcare settings – poor outcomes will continue. Caraway offers a healthcare experience that delivers care and education for the college women's+ market that is both underserved and underrepresented."
"We are excited about Caraway's equitable approach to care," said Margaret Laws, president and CEO, Hopelab. "We are eager to support the Caraway team to ensure that BIPOC and LGBTQ+ students are thoughtfully included in their offering,"
The Caraway Board members are: Lee Shapiro and Alyssa Jaffee, 7wireVentures, Michael Yang of OMERS Ventures and Lori Evans Bernstein, CEO & Co-founder, Caraway. Notable angel investors in Caraway include: Trevor Price, Oxeon Investments, Elliot Cohen, Co-Founder of PillPack, Brian Regan, Deena Shakir, Partner at Lux Capital, Missy Krasner, Aike Ho, Partner at ACME, Doug Hirsch, CEO of GoodRx, Kate Ryder, CEO of Maven Clinic and prominent angel investor Leslie Schrock.
Caraway is a digital healthcare company for college women+ that provides integrated mental, reproductive and physical healthcare services. Built with students for students, Caraway offers personalized, evidence-based care 24/7. With an unprecedented need for mental health resources and new barriers and persistent inequities in women's+ health, Caraway provides access to trusted, holistic, and compassionate healthcare so women+ can get the care they need when they need it. For more information, visit us at Caraway.health and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.