A Nashville-based palliative care provider co-founded by former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has received $32 million from an investment round led by GV, formerly known as Google Ventures, the venture capital arm of Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG).
The new company, Aspire Health, was founded by Frist and CEO Brad Smith three years ago after Smith realized there wasn’t a huge market for palliative care. He believed that the potential was tremendous. Currently, Aspire has 18 locations in 12 states and provides 24/7 in- home care to patients with serious illnesses, such as cancer, severe dementia and organ failure. Aspire usually works with patients for only six to eight months, but that can vary based on the patients’ needs.
Aspire wasn’t necessarily looking to raise capital at the time GV came to them, but at a health care conference nine months ago, Smith was introduced to GV by current investors and they were very interested in investing, Smith explains. Aspire is GV’s first investment in Nashville. This is also the largest round of funding Aspire has ever received. Previously the company received $2 million in funding, followed by $5 million and $15 million rounds.
“We are partnering with community-based oncology companies and exploring our options,” says Smith. “We plan to start rolling out the program later this year or early 2017.”