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Rippl Raises $32 Million to Build the Future of Mental Health Care for Seniors

Updated: Nov 10, 2022

New mental health company led by former Starbucks President & consumer brand industry veterans to revolutionize mental health care delivery for seniors.

Rippl, a mental health company focused on caring for seniors with dementia and other neurocognitive conditions, launched today with $32 million in seed round funding led by ARCH Venture Partners and General Catalyst. The round also includes investment from GV, F-Prime Capital, and Mass General Brigham Ventures.

"Mental health care for seniors is broken," said CEO and Co-Founder Kris Engskov. "Our country's health care system is not designed to tackle the needs of seniors with mental health challenges, particularly those struggling with dementia and Alzheimer's disease – leaving many families and caregivers to navigate these complex conditions alone. We can no longer accept the status quo. From access and convenience to quality and equity, Rippl is rethinking what's required to keep seniors with these specialized conditions healthier and at home – and out of the ER and long-term care."

Rippl is pioneering a new care model to be offered by health plans that will dramatically expand access to high quality, wrap-around mental health care for seniors with dementia and other neurocognitive disorders – with an emphasis on making the experience work better for seniors, their families, and caregivers. The Rippl model, backed by disruptive, easy-to-use technology, will provide 24/7 access to care by experienced and passionate clinicians when and where seniors need it – on the phone, online or in their living rooms.

Redefining what it means to care for seniors with these conditions also means embracing a workplace culture where clinicians can thrive. With a revolutionary new platform, an industry leading compensation, benefits and equity package, and a mission-driven culture, Rippl will empower and enable its clinicians to deliver exceptional, personalized mental health care to seniors and their families. The company is also working with leading clinical teaching institutions to design and build a Rippl Academy focused on upskilling its existing team and actively bringing more clinicians into the space.

"We know when we care obsessively for our clinicians, our patients and families will get the care they deserve," said Karrie Austin, Vice President of Clinical Operations.

Mental and behavioral health for seniors is a massive hidden public health crisis. The total national cost of care for dementia patients, including those with Alzheimer's disease, is projected to be $321 billion in 2022, which does not include the financial and emotional toll on family caregivers. Seniors with neurocognitive mental health conditions and their families have little access to high quality, real-time, practical care, and are 3.5 times more likely to visit the emergency room and three times more likely to be admitted to the hospital. These patients cost Medicare 2.5 times more than seniors without a cognitive impairment. This problem will only grow more urgent with 16 million U.S. adults aged 50 and older living with a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder today – and more than eight million suffering from Alzheimer's disease alone.

"One of the most obvious yet unaddressed areas of health care is how we treat seniors with cognitive impairments in their homes," said Robert Nelsen, Rippl Co-Founder and Board Chair, and Managing Director of ARCH Venture Partners. "We saw an opportunity to make a huge impact. We've pulled together a diverse team of people who come from a range of backgrounds. What connects them is they are all caregivers. We have a shared drive to redefine what a health care company looks like, and that's by putting clinicians at the center of every decision we make."

"Rippl is redefining health care for seniors in a way that is long overdue," said Holly Maloney, Managing Director at General Catalyst. "We believe Rippl's approach will lead to higher quality care, better patient outcomes, and will help relieve the burden on families and caregivers that need support. General Catalyst is proud to stand with Rippl in this seed funding round, and we are excited to see them build out their services."

Rippl will use its seed funding to hire and train a world-class team of clinicians, build technology, and open a Washington state-based clinical support center to launch pilot networks in two regions, beginning in Seattle.

Rippl is led by a diverse group of consumer product and health care changemakers, all with experience as caregivers, including CEO and Co-Founder Kris Engskov, former President of Starbucks Coffee U.S., and President of Aegis Living; Co-Founder and Vice President of Strategy and Innovation Inca Dieterich, PhD; Chief Medical Officer Aaron Greenstein, MD; Chief People Officer Jesse Schlueter; Vice President of Clinical Operations Karrie Austin, RN; and Vice President of Finance Jim Terry.

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