Consumer / Employer, Health Tech

Milu Health Raises $4.8M for AI-Driven Health Savings Platform

Milu Health’s $4.8 million seed round was led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) Bio + Health and included participation from BoxGroup, PagsGroup and 81 Collection.

Rising healthcare costs are a major concern for employers in 2024 as they battle inflation, provider shortages and increasing drug costs. After raising $4.8 million in seed funding last week, one startup aims to drive cost savings for employers and employees through its AI-driven platform.

New York City-based Milu Health works with self-insured employers and advisors and connects with electronic health records (with employees’ consent). It then uses AI to parse through the records, as well as the employee’s health plan, to find ways for them to access better-quality care at a lower price. It then sends text notifications to let patients know about potential cost savings, such as if a medical bill is possibly incorrect, if they’re eligible for financial aid, if they can save on their prescription or if there is a benefit that they don’t know about.

The $4.8 million seed round was led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) Bio + Health and included participation from BoxGroup, PagsGroup and 81 Collection.

With the financing, the company is focused on proving that its platform works before scaling, according to Sasha Gribov, co-founder of Milu.

“For us, the name of the game is, let’s raise a meaningful round that lets us build very deep relationships with a few employers and a few brokers and advisors and prove that we can actually save money for employers and employees,” Gribov said in an interview. “If we can do that, then funding the company in the future is never going to be a problem.”

Milu’s funding comes at a time when many employers are integrating point solutions into their health plan, but employees often aren’t aware of everything that’s available to them. Milu’s platform helps solve that challenge by directing employees to low-cost options in their plan, said Gautam Kumar, co-founder of Milu.

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“I think being able to pull in the real-time data and then drive utilization to some of those solutions that already exist within an employer, is a great win-win-win for all,” Kumar said in an interview. “It’s a great win for the other solution, it’s a great win for the employer, it’s a great win for the employee.”

Some employees are already benefiting from Milu’s platform. Gribov told the story of one patient who had a $16,000 medical bill for a tumor removal. Milu found that the employee was eligible for financial aid and was able to help the patient with the application. Because of that, the patient didn’t have to pay anything.

Gribov added that he isn’t aware of other companies doing exactly what Milu is doing by connecting with electronic health records. However, other companies that work with employers to lower costs and direct patients to the right care include Solera Health, Quantum Health, Accolade and Health Joy.

Ultimately, Milu aims to drive savings and help patients access the care they need, Kumar declared.

“We talk a lot about how in healthcare, there are so many fissures,” he said. “There are so many pieces that just break and the plumbing of healthcare is just super complicated with a lot of cracks. And I think the more we can do to make sure patients don’t fall through those cracks, … the more we can really help patients and have a real impact on people’s lives.”

Photo: claudenakagawa, Getty Images