Amazon Care vets raise $5M to support virtual health startup focusing on Latino patients


Zocalo H has raised $5M to fund its plans to offer primary care for the Latino population.

Seattle-based Zocalo was founded last year by CEO Erik Cardenas. Mariza Harin, head strategy and operations, were both early employees at Amazon Care, which is closing by year’s end.

Cardenas headed technical teams and was a contributor to Amazon’s COVID-19 testing and response. Hardin was the senior business development lead at Amazon Care.

Cardenas said that they often found themselves being the only Latinos in the room, and she agreed with Economic pitch . 

Virtual care has seen a boom in popularity since the pandemic. Teladoc Health, as well as a number of other established companies like Teladoc Health, offer virtual services. According to a recent analysis by Trilliant Health, the demand for virtual care has declined nearly 60% between April 2020 and April 2022.

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Zocalo is determined to be different by catering to a particular segment of the population.

The company currently treats patients in California and will soon expand to Texas. Washington will follow the company’s lead by 2022.

Zocalo offers patients access to a virtual team of doctors, nurses, and mental health professionals through a membership model. It will provide services that are typically found in primary care. These include mental health conditions, lifestyle and preventative care needs, and urgent care. A community health worker (also known as “promotor of salud”) leads the care team.

Other services will include:

  • Chat with community health workers available seven days a semaine to provide guidance and support in the areas of health.
  • Regular health risk assessments are necessary for both physical and mental health.
  • Flexible appointment systems will allow for customized visits, same-day appointments, scheduled follow up appointments, multiple providers visits and scheduled follow-up appointments. Evening and early morning appointments are also possible.

Prices will be $350/year, and family memberships are $550/year. Consultations for one-time will cost $50. If Spanish is the native language of the patient, they will not have to rely on translators.

Cardenas stated that they have created a member experience that is representative of the community’s culture. The training of community health workers involves skills in care coordination, advocacy, service coordination, care coordination, and community outreach.

Cardenas stated that there has been a long-standing need for primary care services in the Latino community. An Pew Research Center survey found that 70% of Hispanic adults have seen a healthcare provider in the past year, as opposed to 82% for all Americans.

Cardenas said, “Both Mariza (and I) had experiences as children where our families and our friends struggled to navigate a healthcare system that didn’t speak our language or showed us respect in an exam room.” “We knew that we had to find the solution.

U.S. U.S. Census data shows that the Hispanic population, or Latinos, grew from 50.5million in 2010 to 62.1million in 2020, a rise of 16.3 to 18.7%. Crunchbase shows that only a tiny percentage of venture capital funding is directed to Latino founders.

The company didn’t provide any information about medical providers that were associated with it. It will soon announce its advisory board.

The seed round of financing was led by Animo Ventures, Virtue Ventures and Vamos Ventures. It also includes Necessary Ventures and Able Partners as well as angel investors Toyin Ajayi and Freada Kapor Kell, Nikhil Krishnan and Erik Ibarra.

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