Technology: Southeast News

Technology Southeast News curated each weekday for Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee



Posted November 08 , 2021


Papa, the Miami-based health-tech startup that matches older adults with trained “Papa Pals” to combat loneliness and isolation, has been on a roll this year scaling its innovative solution across dozens of the largest health plans across the nation. Today, Papa announced it has raised $150 million in funding, one of the largest rounds in #MiamiTech this year.

The homegrown startup is now a unicorn with a valuation of $1.4 billion. Its $150 million Series D funding round was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, new to its cap table. Participating in the round were TCG, Tiger Global Management, Canaan, Initialized Capital and Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six fund. Its new round, on the heels of its $60 million Series C announcement led by Tiger Global in April, brings Papa’s total funding to $240 million.

This growth comes amid significant investment from health plans to address members’ social isolation and loneliness, which have been shown to have a direct link to negative health outcomes. Its 25,000 “Papa Pals” provide critical companionship for older adults while also helping them and others who need support services with critical day-to-day tasks ranging from social activities, household help, local transportation needs, technology literacy and more. The company’s slogan is, appropriately, “Family on Demand.”

Papa recently added more than two dozen health plans since April, including Cigna, which will begin offering Papa starting Jan. 1, 2022 to 70,000 members in nine states. It is now collaborating with more than 65 health plans serving members covered under Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, and employer health plans, Indeed, the startup founded by Andrew Parker has grown by 333% year over year, and now it is set to scale farther.

“On average, every two minutes in the United States a Papa Pal starts a companionship visit with a Papa member. That figure will dramatically increase when an additional 26 health plans start on January 1, and as more plans and employers add Papa over time,” said Parker, Papa’s CEO, who named the company after his grandfather whose quality of life markedly improved after his family hired a “pal” to assist him.

“The collective physical, social, and emotional benefits of this companionship are vast, and the opportunity to reduce loneliness and to support health where it happens — at home — is boundless. This latest round of funding, along with an ever growing number of Papa clients, underscores the power of Papa’s approach and, even more so, the power of human connection,” Parker’s statement continued.


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