Call9 Founder’s New Venture Curve Health Raises $6M in Skilled Nursing Tech Push

Senior care tech startup Curve Health raised $6 million in seed funding as the firm seeks to build on a platform developed by its founder’s previous company, the now-defunct skilled nursing telehealth provider Call9.

The New York City-based Curve on Thursday announced the results of a funding round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, with Lightspeed senior advisor Ling Wong joining Curve’s board.

The company also added Rob MacNaughton, a veteran of multiple heath technology firms, as its new CEO. Curve founder Timothy Peck, who helmed Call9 until its shutdown in June 2019, will stay on as president and executive chair.

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“Curve Health has a mature product and a leadership team with domain expertise — a rare combination for an early-stage company — with Tim Peck and the team’s experience in post-acute care, and my experience on the payor and health care system side, we’re equipped to quickly scale this solution and improve care to our most vulnerable patients,” MacNaughton said in a statement.

The cash injection marks the latest step in Peck’s return to post-acute care in the wake of Call9’s exit from the marketplace. The firm, which had looked to offer both traditional telehealth and on-site emergency medical personnel to nursing homes in an attempt to cut hospital readmissions, collapsed under the weight of investor demands for quick profits in a fee-for-service system, Peck told SNN last year.

“You can’t lean into fee-for-service in order to maximize the amount of cash that you’re getting in the short term, and keep the good graces of the payers and the world out there, who’s trying to work with you toward being a value-based company,” Peck said at the time. “You have to decide one way or the other.”

But the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly accelerated interest in telehealth, particularly in the post-acute and long-term care space — and regulatory flexibility that Call9 and others had spent years lobbying for in Washington suddenly became a reality overnight, at least on an emergency basis.

“The mission was able to continue,” Peck said earlier this year. “It was this feeling of great responsibility to move forward.”

Curve’s mission will be wider than Call9’s, building on the extant telehealth platform to also include health information exchange, billing, and predictive analytics tools.

The nascent company will target not just skilled nursing facilities but hospitals, ambulance providers, and physician groups.

Former NAACP president and Maryland gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous will also join Curve’s board as a member, with IDEO Health chairman Tim Brown taking a seat as an observer.

In addition to the Menlo Park, Calif.-based Lightspeed, financial backers in the round included Vituity, Westway Capital, Correlation Ventures, Kapor Capital, Rosecliff Venture Partners, and The Fund; angel investors Kal Vepuri, Arun Gupta, and Kristin Baker Spohn also participated.

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