Tech-enabled hospice startup Guaranteed debuts with $7M

After being blinded by the death of her father, marketing executive Jessica McGlory started Guaranteed, a company that aims to give families a better way to care for their loved ones in their final days.

Why it matters: A latest report from the watchdog group Project Stakeholder Equity Swasta suggested that for-profit hospice agencies have been tied to lower standards of care, fewer patient visits, higher hospital costs and poorer worker compensation than their nonprofit counterparts.

  • “Private equity has done it [hospice] almost his playground,” McGlory tells Axios. start her visions superior, tech-enabled hospice care in the comfort of home.

Running news: New York-based Guaranteed raised $6.5 million in seed funding led by BrandProject with participation from Precursor, Springbank, Lakehouse and Kue Ventures, bringing the total raised to just over $9 million.

  • The round marks one of the largest seed rounds for a Black female solo founder.
  • By 2021, only 93 Black women founders had raised $1 million or more in venture capital, according to the report ProjectDianebiennial report on the state of Black female and Latina founders by Digitaludivided.
  • Guaranteed will use the funds to hire hospice and clinical care professionals, engineers and marketers.

By numbers: Hospice care is an estimated $34.5 billion market expected to reach $64.7 billion by 2030, per Grand Show Research.

  • Private equity has poured investment dollars into hospices of late, and 30% to 50% all home health and hospice transactions in 2021 involve PE firms, according to M&A advisory firm The Braff Group.
  • That number is on the rise, per a 2021 analysis which found that the number of hospice agencies belonging to the PE group increased from 106 (from 3,162) in 2011 to 409 (from 5,615). About three-quarters of the hospices that acquired PE were nonprofit.

intrigue: The sponsor has come under fire in recent years from lawmakers and regulators including President Biden, who in his State of the Union address. called out PE investors for its role in increasing costs and decreasing quality in nursing homes.

  • Meanwhile, the Government Accountability Office to investigate nursing home ownership, with a report due out in the fall.

How it works: Guaranteed is Medicare certified and has a Medicaid license in California, where it was launched.

  • The company employs a care team including home hospice AIDS, nurses, dietitians, social workers and chaplains whom patients can access 24/7 through messaging and video calls.

What they say: Andrew Black, Assured investor and managing partner of BrandProject, told Axios that the technology-enabled hospice sector presents a window of opportunity for startups.

  • “This is an institutional category where brands don’t exist yet, and there’s room for one,” Black said.

Flashback: The idea for Guaranteed came to McGlory while he was caring for his father in the hospital in 2019.

  • Confused by the source of her father’s severe pain and unable to get a nurse’s attention, she video calls a certified nursing assistant who can help.
  • “Without it, we would have been out of luck and he would have continued to cry in pain,” McGlory said.

One interesting thing: After being immersed in a business landscape largely dominated by white men, McGlory set ambitious equity goals for his startup cap table: More than 40% of our Guaranteed funds should come from underrepresented investors.

  • “Throughout my career, I’ve had to be the only Black woman in any room,” McGlory said. “I can’t let that happen in the company I’m building.”
  • Final result: Half of our Guaranteed capital comes from women- and / or people of color-led investment firms or angel investors.

The takeaway: McGlory envisions Guaranteed to provide people with the means to die in a dignified and respectful way – something his father did not have the opportunity to do.

  • “The only thing that is guaranteed for all of us is that one day we will die,” said McGlory, “but the thing that is not guaranteed is that when you die it will be comfortable, painless and full of dignity. create it.”

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