Canadian pediatric virtual healthcare platform KixCare raises $2M in seed funding

KixCare, a Canadian pediatric virtual healthcare platform, announced that it has raised $2 million in seed funding. Esplanade Ventures, Canada’s leading digital health venture capital firm, led the funding round, with participation from Horizon Capital and angel investors.

The platform connects families and their children with pediatric telehealth services and aims to enable equitable access to quality care for all Canadian children. KixCare’s team of pediatric care experts includes pediatricians, psychologists, behavioral therapists, dietitians, concussion specialists and more. The company currently offers services in the province of Ontario and is looking to expand across Canada.

“The funding has enabled us to grow our presence here in Ontario and we’ll be launching next in Quebec by the end of the year,” said KixCare CEO Daniel Warner in an interview with TechCrunch. “The funding will be used to grow our team, improve the digital experience and grow our network of healthcare providers, including pediatricians.”

Warner noted that KixCare believes that the current model of children’s healthcare often fails to meet the needs of both families and providers. The team believes that existing traditional and digital healthcare options often fail to provide accessible, online pediatric care from experts.

Through KixCare, families and their children are able to access primary and comprehensive care for things like mental health and concussions, along with sleep, diet and lactation concerns. KixCare’s pediatric experts are available outside traditional clinic hours by appointment or within the hour for urgent situations.

“KixCare provides a simple accessible solution for many of the challenges that are present in children’s healthcare today. We’re so excited to be the first ones to launch the pediatric-specific virtual care service. Our social mission is to help all 10 million Canadian families equitably and to be there for them and their little ones through their healthcare journey,” Warner stated.

“The time is right to introduce a new pillar into the pediatric care space. We want to have children and their families turn to KixCare for problems big or small, many of which can be resolved virtually. Especially with the pandemic, where have parents turned to for quality healthcare for their children? If it’s a primary care concern or mental health concern, where do you turn? The answer is now KixCare.”

When asked about how KixCare differs from numerous other virtual healthcare platforms, Warner said that KixCare is the only platform that is focused exclusively on pediatric health. He also noted that some other platforms have an out-of-pocket charge or require users to go through insurance, but that KixCare allows families to access the service for free through their provincial health cards.

In terms of the future, Warner said KixCare is looking to add more services and diagnostic tools, as the company aims to ensure that it can build an immersive and quality experience that meets the needs of children.

Additionally, Dr. Janaki Vallipuram, one of KixCare’s healthcare providers, told TechCrunch in an email that “the platform is needed now more than ever — when timely access to primary care is difficult due to the pandemic and emergency departments are seeing higher numbers of pediatric visits that do not necessarily need to be there.

“However, I believe that KixCare has a role beyond just this pandemic and can continue to be a great addition to our existing healthcare model. I am thrilled to be part of a platform that is so impactful, and to be working with a team that has a great vision.”

KixCare was founded by a team of healthcare veterans, including Dr. Sheldon Elman, a family physician with over 45 years of experience in healthcare and who is also the founder and chairman of Persistence Capital Partners and Esplanade Ventures. Dr. Elman is joined by Dr. Harley Eisman, the chief medical officer of KixCare and the medical director of pediatric emergency services at Montreal Children’s Hospital with over 25 years of experience as a physician.