Sidewalk Labs spinout Cityblock gets $20.8M, adds CMS vets to board

By Jonah Comstock
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Cityblock Health, the urban-focused public health startup that spun out of Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs in October, has raised $20.8 million in a round led by Maverick Ventures. Thrive Capital and Sidewalk Labs also contributed to the round, as did other unnamed strategic investors. The raise brings Cityblock’s total funding to $23.2 million.

“We started Cityblock with a simple goal: to radically improve the health of urban communities, one block at a time,” Cityblock CEO Iyah Romm said in a statement. “Despite the boom in venture-backed and technology-based innovations, people on Medicaid and other low-income urban populations have been largely left behind. By combining a data-driven approach to both operations and clinical service delivery, Cityblock has the opportunity to address those needs and unlock value in entirely new ways. We believe that by investing in tools and care approaches that meet people where they are, we can achieve this goal, while also building a business that drives down the spiraling cost of healthcare.”

Cityblock aims to address the health disparity in lower socio-economic urban communities by providing preventive medicine and access to resources. 

The company will use the funds to continue developing Common, its custom-built care facilitation platform. As we reported last month, the platform will include a two-way channel with clinician and patient apps, telehealth and chat features, and a record of care with action plans. 

“It is a rare opportunity to back a team that not only has real-world experience managing clinical services for high-need, high-cost populations, but also has shipped consumer technology at Google scale,” Ambar Bhattacharyya, managing director of Maverick Ventures, said in a statement. “Cityblock’s expertise and passion has led them to develop a novel model to reduce costs and create an exceptional consumer experience that lays the foundation for an enduring, high growth business.”

The round also included Oxeon Partners and a long list of individual investors including former CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt; former CMS Deputy Administrator Dr. Patrick Conway; former Molina Healthcare CEO Dr. Mario Molina; Rock Health founder Halle Tecco; Flatiron Health cofounders Nat Turner and Zach Weinberg; former Universal American CEO Richard Barasch; Clover Health CEO Vivek Garipalli; Soraya Darabi of TrailMix Ventures; and Cloudera cofounder Jeff Hammerbacher.

Three investors — Slavitt, Garipalli, and Bhattacharyya — will join the board of directors. Jared Weinstein from Thrive Capital will join as an observer.

“There are few greater national needs for the country right now than to unlock American innovation to provide better care for low-income, low-access populations,” Slavitt said in a statement. “Cityblock represents the best of a new breed of health care company — the best talent, technology, and resources aligned to provide better care to difficult to treat Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries as individuals with all their personalized social and health needs.”

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