Food as Medicine:
Foodsmart Partners with TPG’s Rise Fund

Sharing the sustained health impact of ‘foodcare’ to people of all incomes, nationwide

The Rise Fund has signed definitive documentation to lead an investment of over $200 million in Foodsmart, the leading telenutrition provider and food benefits management platform in the US. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 2010, Foodsmart supports those facing chronic disease and food insecurity by partnering with health plans and providers to give patients access to personalized and affordable healthy eating options. Foodsmart combines virtual nutrition counseling through a large standalone network of registered dietitians, with an integrated digital food benefits management platform through which patients can plan personalized healthy meals, order quality food through grocers nationwide and local medically tailored food partners, apply for SNAP benefits, and learn ways to buy good food affordably. Foodsmart serves more than 2.2 million members through contracts with leading regional and national Medicaid Managed Care Organizations, Medicare Advantage plans, commercial insurers, and over one thousand employers.

“We are excited to partner with TPG’s Rise Fund given their strong track record scaling the reach of organizations that create sustained impact for people of all income levels–including Medicaid members and blue collar workers,” said Jason Langheier, MD, MPH, the CEO and Founder of Foodsmart. “We support all people, regardless of economic status, with nutrition counseling and food buying support that changes their access to quality food, eating habits and health outcomes for the long run.”

The Rise Fund carries core strategies of TPG Rise, TPG’s global impact investing platform founded in 2016 by TPG in partnership with Bono and Jeff Skoll. The Rise Fund invests in entrepreneurs and growth-stage, high potential, mission-driven companies that are focused on achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Forming healthier eating habits requires time and guidance. It’s a challenge for individuals who are already struggling with chronic illness, who work multiple jobs, or are otherwise unable to cook healthy meals for themselves. Foodsmart is fundamentally solving these challenges by integrating FoodSMART telenutrition with a FoodsMART food buying marketplace that bridges access to high quality groceries, meals and food as medicine partners, enabling sustained healthy eating and improved outcomes for families, and ROI for payers.

Dr. Langheier added, “TPG Rise has expertise supporting innovative and needed solutions for underserved patients to become permanent fixtures in the fabric of healthcare. We look forward to working together to expand our capabilities, our reach and our impact.”

“Diet-related diseases and food insecurity are estimated to cost the US over $1 trillion per year, and disproportionately affect low-income and minority populations,” said Tom Verghese, Business Unit Partner and Healthcare Lead for The Rise Funds. “Foodsmart’s unique virtual care platform meets these challenges by providing access to the largest network of Registered Dietitians in the US alongside medically tailored nutrition guidance to improve metabolic and whole body health. Foodsmart has proven to be the category leader from our longstanding thematic focus on the Foodcare space.”

Foodsmart has completed numerous matched-pair case control studies and randomized control trials in partnership with leading health plans and academic institutions, showing $24 to $58 per member per month savings in year one, and a significant improvement in HbA1c. Over the last decade, Foodsmart has published many studies showing a reversal of food insecurity and reduced rates of obesity, diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia– especially for lower income populations, but the hallmark of Foodsmart is that members keep improving their outcomes even 3 years later. Foodsmart is also supporting patients in their effective use of higher cost interventions such as GLP-1s and bariatric surgery, by helping them improve their food buying environment and eating habits before, during, and after those interventions, to enable the opportunity to sustain their health improvements for the long run.

Foodsmart also continues to partner with leading health systems like Advocate Health, Intermountain Health, and Memorial Hermann Health System, collectively representing tens of millions of patients. Provider led “foodscripts”, where primary care physicians refer their patients to Foodsmart dietitians and guide them on healthy food choices–sometimes subsidized by health plans–to address their conditions, are a key component of the workflow Foodsmart is enabling with provider partners nationwide.

The investment furthers The Rise Fund’s focus on backing high performing businesses that are expanding access and delivering demonstrably positive health outcomes for underserved and low-income demographics. The transaction is expected to close in July 2024 and remains subject to customary closing conditions.