Silicon Valley startup brings in $44.5M for cloud-based diabetes management tech

Livongo Health's connected glucose meter for diabetes management.--Courtesy of Livongo Health

Digital health startup Livongo Health reeled in $44.5 million in Series C financing to support the development of its cloud-based diabetes management technology.

Big-name investors including Merck Global Health and Zaffre Investments, the investment arm of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, participated in the round. Existing investors such as General Catalyst, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, DFJ and 7wire Ventures also chipped in funding.

The Mountain View, CA-based company plans to use funds to expand its market reach. Livongo is already working on technology that helps diabetes patients monitor their condition, but it also wants to launch new products and services to build on that growth, the startup said in a statement.

"We are excited by the demand for our solution, which combines the latest technology, data science, and coaching to empower people with diabetes to live a better life," Livongo CEO Glen Tullman said in a statement. "The most important challenge to address in healthcare today is how we manage chronic disease, and the status quo simply isn't working. Livongo Health's platform delivers real-time, personalized support in context, when and where it's needed."

The company's device includes a connected blood glucose meter that uses cellular technology to automatically upload readings, Livongo said on its website. Patients can access the information online or through a mobile app. Individuals can also connect with certified diabetes educators if they have questions about their readings, the company said.

Livongo has already found a market for its technology, especially among payers and healthcare systems that are looking for cost-effective solutions for diabetes management. In October, Livongo Health and Mount Sinai Health System launched a diabetes management program for the New York market. In December, PBM giant Express Scripts ($ESRX) tapped the company to provide its diabetes management program to its more than 3,000 clients.

"We are excited by the opportunity to partner with Livongo, an innovative company that will accelerate our ability to improve the care of people with diabetes," Express Scripts SVP and Chief Innovation Officer Glen Stettin said at the time. "Our expert diabetes pharmacists, high-touch Therapeutic Resource Center care model and innovative solutions help us practice pharmacy smarter for millions of people with diabetes, ensuring better, more cost-effective care."

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