Joshua Kushner’s Thrive Capital leads $ 20 million investment in Brazilian healthcare startup Pipo Saude – TechCrunch


Pipo Saude, a startup that developed a platform that sells and manages health benefits for Brazilian companies, has raised $ 20 million in a Series A funding round.

Joshua Kushner’s Thrive Capital led the round, marking the first time the New York-based venture firm has led an investment in a Brazilian startup. (Although, in particular, Thrive has also invested money in Nubank and Loft.)

Atlantico participated in the financing as a new investor in addition to all existing backers, including Monashees, Kaszek and OneVC. Nubank co-founder and CEO David Velez and Cedar co-founder and CEO Florian Otto (and former Groupon CEO in Brazil) also joined the round. Pipo Saude had raised $ 4.6 million in a seed round in June 2020 that was led by Monashees and Kaszek with participation from OneVC and Velez de Nubank.

Manoela Mitchell (CEO), Thiago Torres (COO) and Vinicius Correa (CTO) founded Pipo Saude in July 2019 with the goal of “providing an unparalleled experience” of purchasing and managing health care benefits for corporations in combination with providing a service navigation platform for employees. More simply, its mission is to “transform” the healthcare experience for businesses and their employees.

Pipo Saude began selling his solution six months after its creation. Over the past year, it has increased its ARR by “about 5 times” and the number of lives managed by 7.2 times, according to Mitchell. Currently, Pipo has 100 corporate clients and 15,000 lives under management. Its clients include the Brazilian unicorns Madeira Madeira and Buser, Caelum and Funcional Health Tech, among others. Pipo Saude makes money from commissions and says his business model is a hybrid of Nava, Accolade and Rightway, but that Zenefits and Amino are inspirations or benchmarks he “admires.”

When Pipo was founded in 2019, the company was trying to convince potential clients that digital healthcare could be an interesting option for reducing costs and improving care, according to Mitchell.

And then when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, he added, the entire sector was forced to change and the company saw all stakeholders, from doctors to employers to patients, “embracing technologies to do their jobs. easier or more accessible to others. “

This trend also helped Pipo grow. In January 2020, he had two corporate clients. In December of the same year, he was around 70.

“COVID has accelerated the digital transformation of the healthcare system everywhere, but even more so in a place like Brazil that was a few years behind the US when it comes to technology penetration in the healthcare space. Mitchell said.

Image credits: Pipo Saude

Because healthcare is so complex, most companies outsource benefits capabilities to traditional brokers. Pipo, he said, was created to “alter this landscape” with the use of technology and data.

The company claims that enrolling a new member in a health plan can generally take up to 10 business days in Brazil, but that Pipo “can do it in less than 1 hour” due to its HMO / PPO integrations. It plans to use the new funds to continue investing heavily in technology and data with the goal of launching its first digital product that will be “100% focused” on its members.

Sao Paulo-based Pipo currently has 108 employees spread across 33 cities and three countries, up from 27 a year ago. During the pandemic, it became a “remote first company.”

The startup also plans to use its new capital to make some hires, with the goal of doubling the number of its full-time employees by the end of the year. Mitchell described the business model as one of “lightweight assets” that connects health care buyers, users and products without having any need for regulatory capital.

In the medium and long term, Mitchell said the team sees Pipo as a local business rather than a global one.

“Digging deeper into healthcare data and protocols requires a lot of specialization and deep understanding,” he said. Furthermore, the opportunity in Brazil is very great.

“We are focused on being the local leader in Brazil rather than having a broader but less in-depth experience in many markets,” said Mitchell.

Kareem zaki, a general partner at Thrive, said his firm invested in Pipo Saude because it saw the company as the first of its kind to innovate the channel through which healthcare solutions reach individuals and their families.

“Pipo is using data to deliver value at every step of the customer journey, from informing employers’ purchasing decisions and automating manual pieces of benefits management to helping employees navigate the healthcare system to meet their individual needs. ”He wrote in an email. “The result is 20% more savings, up to 50 times faster workflows and an industry-unprecedented 97% customer satisfaction rate.”

Pipo Saude is not the only Brazilian startup tackling the profit space. Earlier this month, Flash, a startup that has developed a flexible benefits platform for Brazilian companies and employees, announced that it had raised $ 22 million in a Series B funding round led by Tiger Global Management.


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