Today Papa announced its $150M Series D at a $1.4BN valuation. The funding round was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, and included new investors Seven Seven Six, TCG, and Novel TMT, alongside existing investors Initialized Capital, Tiger Global Management, and Canaan. Since leading the Series A twenty-four months ago, we at Canaan have been able to increase our ownership while tripling down with each subsequent round. Beyond simply pressing our winners, we believe Andrew, Alfredo, and team are just getting started in building a generation-defining company that will become critical infrastructure for older adults and families as they live, work, and age over the coming decade.
A radical transformation of the $4TN U.S. healthcare system is underway as technology reshapes how care is delivered, managed, and paid for. Among the many trends we’ve invested in, one trend I’ve been particularly excited about for several years is how software will be deployed in the offline world to improve the lives of older adults and to change the default on the aging experience. At a time when there’s never been more excitement about pure software companies, we think that much of reducing costs and improving outcomes in healthcare will be driven by the combination of technology and human help, and by meeting consumers where and how they want to age in a continuous and fluid relationship. We believe the next generation of healthcare companies will be built around in-home care delivery powered by software that can capture data in a way previously not possible to drive superior health outcomes and patient experiences.
In addition to the team, there were several “why now’s” surrounding Papa that gave us conviction during our initial investment in 2019, with some of these tailwinds accelerating faster than expected.
When we first invested in 2019, the core Papa product, on its surface, appeared to simply connect older adults with vetted college students for companionship and daily support. But what lies beneath the surface to enable these deeply personal and trusted interactions is a technology platform that weaves together real-time logistics, a firehose of data on member health and lifestyle, and deep payer and family integrations to ensure proactive management of and intervention on social determinants of health (SDOH) for older adults. In conjunction with this technology, the tens of thousands of Papa Pals who take on caregiving as a new form of gig economy work are empowered by the Papa mobile app that, much like the Uber driver app, allows for a modern, flexible way to earn income on one’s own schedule while helping others in need. By combining technology with a vast network of trusted, flexible, and on-demand Papa Pals, Papa is able to have an impact on population health while scaling a new care force to meet the needs of members in the home. Health plans can now proactively identify and intervene on population and individual health issues more quickly, resulting in happier members and families.
What gets Canaan and me so excited by Papa’s momentum is a world where hundreds of thousands of Papa Pals can earn a healthy, sustainable income while being the foundation of the largest caregiver network for millions of older adults aging at home. This not only improves the lives of our loved ones but enables families and employers to be more productive, while offering health plans a trusted way to engage with members and to better health outcomes. This is a future that Papa is building as we speak — and they are just getting started.
A huge thanks to Andrew, Alfredo and the entire and fast-growing Papa team for letting us join their journey. And a special thanks to Effie Epstein at Sound Ventures who initially introduced me to Andrew at Papa years ago, and to Graham Brown at Lerer Hippeau who similarly flagged the company as we were building our thesis around aging. Lastly, we are excited to welcome a long time friend, Lydia Jett at SoftBank, to the board.