See the 13-slide presentation that landed heart-health startup Miga Health $12 million in seed funding

Andreas Limberopoulos, left, and Jarrad Aguirre, co-founders of Miga Health.
  • Miga Health is building a heart-health app with at-home blood-pressure tracking.
  • The startup said on Tuesday that it had raised $12 million in a seed round led by Quiet Capital.
  • Dr. Jarrad Aguirre, its cofounder and CEO, said it plans to launch the platform later this year.

Dozens of digital-health players, from chronic-care-focused companies like Omada Health to tech giants like Apple, have set out to tackle heart disease and its related conditions.

But Dr. Jarrad Aguirre, Miga Health’s cofounder and CEO, thinks those companies haven’t struck the right balance.

“There’s this need to have a consumer brand and product that’s more like Headspace than Kaiser Permanente,” he told Insider, contrasting the meditation app with the California health system, “but that also leads and manages clinical services.”

On a mission to marry clinical support with patient engagement, Miga Health announced on Tuesday that it had raised $12 million in seed funding in a round led by Quiet Capital with participation from Asymmetric Capital Partners, Floating Point, VamosVentures, Alumni Ventures, Adapt Ventures, Lux Capital, and Wilson Sonsini. Angel investors including the cofounders of Cityblock Health, PillPack, Newfront, and Whisper also joined the round.

The San Francisco startup is building a mobile app for people to track their blood pressure from home. Users can also receive clinical services like telehealth consultations and prescription delivery through Miga Health. Aguirre said the team will launch the platform later this year.

Aguirre and his cofounder, Andreas Limberopoulos, created the company in July. The name comes from the Spanish “mi amiga,” or “my friend,” a nod to the startup’s plan to foster relationships with patients to support their long-term heart health.

Aguirre said that while the Miga Health app would be available across the country, the startup plans to launch its clinical services first in the Southeast. The app’s blood-pressure tracking would be free, but Miga Health plans to offer a premium version of the platform where users can pay a monthly subscription fee to access features like blood-pressure analytics and educational modules.

The founders are also working on partnerships with health insurers so they can get reimbursed for the clinical services they provide.

“We could make proclamations about pricing and revenue, but the truth is if we knew in our first seed deck exactly what that would be, that would probably be a negative sign, because it means we’re not doing a ton of consumer, physician, and market research to tailor our product over time,” Aguirre said.

See the 13-slide presentation Miga Health used to raise $12 million in seed funding.

Miga Health is building a heart-health app with at-home blood-pressure tracking supported by in-person clinical services.

Miga Health

The startup sees its focus on engaging consumers as a key differentiator in the heart-health market. Dr. Jarrad Aguirre, its cofounder and CEO, said the app, set to launch later this year, would help people collect baseline blood-pressure data from home “in a gamified way.”

Miga Health

Users in select areas could receive clinical services like telehealth consultations, prescription delivery, and lifestyle coaching. Miga Health plans to contract physicians through an affiliate corporation and employ some providers directly.

Miga Health

Medications, technologies, and surgeries exist to help people manage and treat heart disease. But Aguirre said there’s a disconnect between the magnitude of the problem and access to care.

Miga Health

Growing up in a low-income, single-parent household in Colorado, Aguirre witnessed that uneven access to care firsthand. Miga Health plans to launch its clinical services first in the southeastern US, where it sees the greatest need.

Miga Health

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s map tracking high blood pressure by state shows that Southern states like Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee have reported some of the highest rates of hypertension in the country.

Miga Health’s presentation dedicates several slides to statistics about the prevalence of heart disease; Aguirre said he thinks most people don’t grasp just how many people it affects or how much it contributes to the total healthcare spend. Aguirre said that because of that prevalence, he assumes many of the investors he’s pitched struggle with high blood pressure themselves.

Miga Health

The presentation cites figures attributed to the CDC and the American Heart Association.

Aguirre said that starting with a focus on hypertension, a common risk factor for heart disease, helped sell investors on Miga Health’s long-term goals for heart health. If the company targeted heart health broadly from the start, “you could boil the ocean and miss out on building something with actual traction,” Aguirre said.

Miga Health

Aguirre described a lack of “concerted, direct effort” by digital-health companies to connect with primary-care doctors. He wants those providers to refer patients to Miga Health’s app organically to support the work the physicians are already doing.

Miga Health

The founders left the word “heart” out of the startup’s name on purpose — “Miga,” shorthand for the Spanish phrase “mi amiga,” or “my friend,” implies the longitudinal relationship Miga Health wants to build with its users beyond hypertension and heart disease. “It’s not about a specific condition, it’s about trust in navigating what lies ahead,” Aguirre said.

Miga Health

Miga Health is a team of three, with Aguirre as the CEO, Limberopoulos in charge of product and engineering, and another member overseeing business operations. Two more employees are set to join the startup in June, a medical director and another engineer.

Miga Health

Aguirre got his medical degree and MBA from Stanford University before going to head corporate strategy at Myovant Sciences, where he stayed until starting Miga Health. Limberopoulos is a serial entrepreneur who most recently led patient enrollment at the clinical-research company TrialSpark.

Miga Health

Aguirre said he welcomes Miga Health’s competition and predicted there would soon be a “renaissance” of heart-health companies. He said he hopes the market saturation will breed an ecosystem of investors who put the consumer first.

Miga Health
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