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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Zócalo Health gets $5M to launch primary care services for Latinos

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Zócalo Health plans to provide the first Latino healthcare experience that focuses on patients’ basic and social health requirements. Erik Cardenas and Mariza Hardin, co-founders, bucked the odds in the face of a paucity of investment for Latino and female-led enterprises.

Zócalo Health, a Latino-founded healthcare service for Latino patients, announced today that it has received $5 million in seed investment from Animo, Virtue, and Vamos Ventures. Other noteworthy investors in the round include Necessary Ventures, Able Partners, and angels Toyin Ajayi, Freada Kapor Klein, Nikhil Krishnan, and Erik Ibarra.

The money will help the firm offer virtual primary care services in California, Texas, and Washington in 2022, providing Latinos with an enhanced and long-overdue healthcare experience based on trust, community, and culture. “Our existing healthcare system fails to collaborate with and respect the identities, care requirements, and preferences of Latino people.”

Today, over 60 million Latinos dwell in the United States, making them the country’s biggest minority population. With 132.8 million people, they will account for more than 30% of the population by 2050.

Despite this increase, the United States’ healthcare system lacks goods and resources to satisfy the cultural demands of this group. With one primary care physician for every five to six thousand individuals in predominately Latino zip areas, Latinos have disproportionately limited access to primary care.

Zócalo Health is bridging that gap by providing inexpensive and accessible primary care that integrates tradition and innovation while emphasizing trustworthy connections between physicians and patients. Monthly and annual memberships will be available, providing patients with access to a full care team led by a promotor de salud (community health worker) and comprised of physicians, nurses, mental health therapists, and others, as well as same-day appointments and care coordination services focused on addressing social determinants of health.

Zócalo Health is driven by a diverse group of entrepreneurs who are upending the startup environment.Latino entrepreneurs receive less than 1% of money from the 25 main risk and venture capital companies. Latino startup funding accounts for around 2% of total startup investment.

Only 13% of venture capital funds go to firms with a female founder. This National Hispanic Heritage Month, Zócalo Health will debut services in California and Texas, with plans to extend to other states in 2022 and beyond.

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