Brave Care is attracting so much investor attention that it didn’t even need to pitch at Y Combinator Demo Day.
The Portland startup announced another $5.2 million in funding today from Sesame Street (via its partnership with Collaborative Fund), Greycroft, Refactor, and Fifty Years. Previous backers including Founders’ Co-op and Indicator Ventures put more cash behind Brave Care.
The company, which recently graduated from Silicon Valley accelerator Y Combinator, came out of stealth mode in June when it announced a $1.4 million seed round. The Portland startup is opening urgent care centers that apply a child-centered mindset with a dash of technology to treat the inevitable bumped heads, skinned knees and achy ears that come with growing up.
Brave Care’s technology vision involves building tools for parents to get advice from pediatric care providers at all hours in order to decide whether or not to head to a hospital or clinic.
As the healthcare industry shifts to methods of care that deliver better value for money, alternatives to the ER have gained steam. The number of urgent care clinics in the U.S. grew 27 percent from 6,400 in 2014 to 8,100 in 2018, according to Consumer Reports. And the use of telehealth services has grown swiftly as well, jumping 53 percent between 2016 and 2017.
Brave Care relaunched in June out of Pacific Crest Children’s Urgent Care, which has been operating a clinic for the past year and a half. Dr. Corey Fish created Pacific Crest and now serves as Brave’s chief medical officer. He leads Brave Care with Darius Monsef, a serial entrepreneur who sold his last company to Johnson & Johnson.
Monsef previously co-founded Sightbox, a subscription service for contact lenses and eye exams that sold to Johnson & Johnson in 2017.
The fresh cash will help Brave Care open several clinics in the Portland region over the next 18 months and continue building its technology. The company employs 15 people and is hiring.