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Co-founders of Zócalo Health, Erik Cárdenas and Mariza Hardin.
Co-founders Erik Cárdenas and Mariza Hardin. Photo: Business Wire.

Zócalo Health raises $5 million for virtual primary care

Excellent news in the midst of a difficult situation for startups led by Latinos and women.

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The Latino-founded virtual family medicine service, designed for the Latino patient, recently announced a million-dollar fundraiser that will support the company's launch of virtual primary care services in California, Texas and Washington in 2022, introducing a trusted healthcare experience focused on the Hispanic community, one that is based not only on the primary health requirements of patients, but also on their social needs.

The seed funding round for this healthtech was co-led by Animo, Virtue, and Vamos Ventures, and included participation from renowned investors, including Necessary Ventures, Able Partners, and angel investors Toyin Ajayi, Freada Kapor Klein, Nikhil Krishnan, and Erik Ibarra.

Erik Cárdenas, co-founder and CEO of Zócalo Health, stated:

We are relentlessly committed to meeting the Latino community’s needs with urgency and care. We are grateful for our team and our investors, who understand the importance of leveraging innovation while maintaining culture and tradition along the way.

Health Needs

Despite the unstoppable growth of the Hispanic-American population, the company highlights the lack, in the U.S. healthcare system, of products and resources to meet the unique cultural needs of this community, highlighting a report that states that Latinos experience disproportionately limited access to primary care with a ratio of one primary care physician for every five to six thousand residents in predominantly Latino zip codes.

“We founded Zócalo Health to embrace the values and traditions from our culture and Latino identity and make them the heart of the primary care experience. We are transforming healthcare in this country, as we can no longer rely on a one-size-fits-all system filled with inequalities,” added Cárdenas. 

Zócalo Health News

Prioritizing relationships of trust between health providers and patients, this firm, which provides affordable and accessible primary medical care, offers monthly and annual memberships that give patients access to a complete care team, led by a community health worker and made up of doctors, nurses, mental health therapists, and more.

“Our current healthcare system fails to work with and respect the Latino person’s identities, care needs, and preference. Working in healthcare my entire career, I didn't see people who looked like me driving healthcare solutions for my community. With our experience and network, we have the opportunity to build something better for our own families and Latino communities across the country, exemplifying that if the system isn't changing, then we have to be that change,” underscore Mariza Hardin, co-founder and Head of Strategy and Operations at Zócalo Health.

For his part, Xavier del Rosario, partner at the venture capital firm, noted: “Our team at VamosVentures sees enormous promise in what Zócalo Health is building. We believe in a future where diverse leaders can access resources to support their communities, and we are confident that the team behind Zócalo Health is blazing the trail to that future.”

Zócalo Health is launching services in California and Texas this National Hispanic Heritage Month and plans to expand to other states in 2022 and beyond.

Data of Interest

Zócalo Health is led by diverse entrepreneurs who are shaking up the start-up scene. Fewer than 1% of funds from the 25 primary risk and venture capital firms end up in the hands of Latino founders. Latino startup funding makes up approximately 2% of the overall startup investment. And only 13% of venture capital dollars go to startups with a woman on the founding team.

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