Ounce, a pioneering company, has successfully secured $5.2 million in seed funding. This transformative funding round was co-led by Meridian Street Capital and Flare Capital, with participation from notable investors including Chelsea Clinton’s Metrodora Ventures, Wilshire Lane Capital, Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta, and Unite Us cofounder Taylor Justice.
Ounce’s mission is to seamlessly integrate health and housing services for the benefit of over 2,000 residents of affordable housing across nine properties in Washington, D.C. Currently, more than 300,000 D.C. residents rely on Medicaid, and approximately 27,000 low-income households face housing challenges.
These challenges are further compounded by issues such as frequent changes in contact information, lack of trust in healthcare systems, limited access to transportation, low health literacy, and inadequate childcare support.
To address these complex issues, Ounce deploys a team of highly trained Community Health Workers (CHWs) directly within affordable housing properties. These CHWs establish and nurture relationships with residents, providing personalized support, education, and guidance. Ounce’s approach empowers individuals to navigate intricate healthcare systems, adhere to treatment plans, and address the social drivers of health, ultimately leading to improved health outcomes. Their strategy also benefits property owners, offering a scalable solution that demonstrates positive health and social impact from property services.
Rachel Munsie, co-founder, and CEO of Ounce, explained, “Our success is largely due to the trusted relationships we’re uniquely able to build with residents and the convenience of our services, all delivered within the existing community infrastructure. Our integration with the properties and our proximity to residents gives us the opportunity to quickly intervene with support when we see red flags like eviction notices or other indicators for housing instability, which has clear links to healthcare outcomes.”
Ounce’s services were first launched in Southeast D.C., an area predominantly inhabited by Black residents, facing poverty and gun violence due to chronic underinvestment. Despite these challenges, Ounce engaged and enrolled over 30 percent of residents into its program within months of launching. Ounce’s approach ensures residents receive multiple services simultaneously, making a significant impact on their lives.
In addition to providing critical services, Ounce educates residents about Medicaid redeterminations, guiding them through the process. Collaborating closely with AmeriHealth Caritas D.C. and the National Housing Trust, Ounce’s innovative approach has been lauded for extending reach, closing gaps in care, and driving improvements in health equity.
This unique combination of healthcare and housing solutions represents a paradigm shift, addressing interconnected challenges and paving the way for a more equitable, healthy, and just society.
Investors and industry leaders have expressed enthusiastic support for Ounce’s transformative vision. Chelsea Clinton, co-founder of Metrodora Ventures, stated, “Ounce represents a paradigm shift in how we address the interconnected challenges of health and housing.”
Similarly, Scott Law, General Partner at Meridian Street Capital, emphasized the transformative potential of Ounce’s approach, noting its ability to redefine health for underserved communities. Vic Lanio, Partner at Flare Capital Partners, highlighted Ounce’s innovative approach in filling critical gaps in the healthcare ecosystem.
With this substantial funding, Ounce is well-positioned to continue its pioneering work, reshaping the landscape of health and housing dynamics and creating a positive impact on the lives of residents in affordable housing communities.