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Cake Raises $1.35M in Seed Funding to Make Advance Care and End-of-Life Planning Easier

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 14, 2017

Boston Mass., November 14, 2017 – Cake (joincake.com), a digital platform for advance care and end-of-life planning, announced today that it has raised $1.35M in an oversubscribed round of funding. This latest financing was led by investor Pillar VC, with participation from Launch Capital, plus follow-on investments from Cake’s existing investors including Arkitekt Ventures and Honeycomb Portfolio.

The Cake web application asks simple, human-centered questions that help people to consider end-of-life preferences and to record their wishes securely online. Unlike paper-based tools, the software creates a living document that makes it easy to update and share decisions as people’s lives evolve.

“Our goal is to help people live a good life all the way to the end. Cake makes sure that your family and your care team will know what a good life means to you,” says Cake’s Co-founder and CEO, Suelin Chen.

A study published by Health Affairs in July 2017 notes that while doctors already recommend that everyone write an advance care directive, only 33% of the healthy and only 38% of the seriously ill have done so. Only 15% discuss their wishes in advance with a doctor. Not having an advance directive can lead to financial losses (medical debt is the #1 source of personal bankruptcy in the US), family conflicts, and being subjected to unwanted medical interventions.

“At Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, we believe advance care planning is central to the overall well-being of our members and employees,” said Anna Gosline, senior director of health policy and strategic initiatives. “We are deeply committed to ensuring that all people receive care that reflects their goals, values and preferences at all stages of life and health – but especially in the face of serious illness. We are pleased to offer Cake as part of our digital advance care planning solutions.”

Many people have goals of care beyond living as long as possible, yet clinicians and caregivers are compelled to deliver maximum care unless there is a way to confirm a patient’s prior wishes. This “default” built into our healthcare system is a contributor to the $150 billion dollars spent annually in the United States for care during the last year of life, amounting to 25% of all Medicare spending.

“Harvard Pilgrim recognizes the large expenditures that go into the last six months of life, and Cake provides a novel approach to improve palliative care,” says Steven Fink, Harvard Pilgrim’s Business Planning Director.

“How can anyone respect a patient’s wishes at the end, unless they know what they are? Cake’s opportunity is to reduce stress and to protect dignity for millions of people, likely avoiding billions in unwanted medical interventions.” says Russ Wilcox, partner at Pillar, who joins Cake’s board of directors.

Cake software is in pilots with several large payers, providers, and healthcare systems in Massachusetts, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Harvard Pilgrim, and Massachusetts General Hospital. The company will use funds to expand awareness and availability of its software.


Suelin Chen, CEO and Co-Founder
(617) 512 - 1592


About Cake

Cake (joincake.com) was founded by an MIT-trained engineer and Harvard-trained doctor to leverage technology, data, and human-centered design to make advance care planning and end-of-life planning easier. Cake is one of Boston's Tech Startups to Watch in 2017, has been selected for TEDMED and PULSE, was the winner of Project Entrepreneur in 2016, and is featured in the NY Times, Tech Insider, Huffington Post, The Guardian. For more information, please visit www.joincake.com.


About Pillar

Pillar is an early-stage venture capital firm co-founded by 17 leading Boston CEOs from companies like Wayfair, TripAdvisor and DraftKings. Founded in 2016, Pillar aligns with unstoppable founders at the moment of inception by providing access to capital, strategic advisors, talent and leadership development. For more information, please visit www.pillar.vc.