Serena Ventures, the venture capital firm founded by Serena Williams, is leading a $12 million funding round for Juno, a healthcare company focused on underserved communities.
The investment, which will help Juno expand from New York into Atlanta, Los Angeles and Tulsa, arose in part from the tennis star’s own well-documented health challenges after giving birth to her daughter five years ago.
Juno aims its services at families, including primary care, women’s health and pediatrics, and promises transparent and affordable prices while accepting a range of insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid. For additional membership fees that start at $20 a month, users can access extra benefits like weekend appointments.
The company was founded in Harlem two years ago by Dr. Akili Hinson, a physician and former consultant at McKinsey & Company, with the goal of focusing on communities that struggle to access adequate health care provision because of socioeconomic and racial disparities.
Williams’s own health care problems informed her investment. She has spoken of her frustration after the birth of her daughter five years ago, after she was forced to push medical professionals for help to deal with life-threatening medical complications. Black women are three times more likely than white women to die in childbirth or soon afterward, according to the Population Research Bureau.
“There is a serious need to address equity issues in health care, mental health and wellness services that many communities face,” Williams said in a statement.
The New York Times