Digital major care startup 98point6 raises $118M as pandemic sparks demand for digital well being tech

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Virtual primary care startup 98point6 raises $118M as pandemic sparks demand for digital health tech


Robbie Cape, CEO of digital major care startup 98point6, accepts the award for Well being Innovation of the 12 months on the GeekWire Awards ceremony in 2019. (GeekWire Picture / Kevin Lisota)

Demand is thru the roof for Seattle telemedicine startup 98point6. The corporate, which helps facilitate digital major care appointments, has seen its membership base skyrocket 274% this 12 months as folks search for medical recommendation with out going to a bodily physician’s workplace throughout the pandemic.

Now the startup is fueling up its tank to assist that progress, elevating a $118 million Collection E spherical led by personal fairness big L Catterton and late-stage funding agency Activant Capital. Current backers together with Goldman Sachs additionally participated.

The spherical is likely one of the largest for a Seattle-area startup this 12 months and the most recent in a string of latest $100 million-plus investments in firms corresponding to Qumulo, Auth0, Sana Biotechnology, and others. Enterprise capitalists poured greater than $1 billion into Pacific Northwest startups within the final quarter.

It additionally comes on the heels of a $43 million Collection D spherical raised by 98point6 in April, reflecting robust investor curiosity within the firm’s expertise and broader digital well being market. World VC funding to digital well being firms reached a document $10.3 billion via the primary 9 months of this 12 months, up 43% year-over-year, in accordance with Mercom Capital Group.

Based in 2015, 98point6 gives major care in all 50 states to greater than 3 million sufferers, connecting them in real-time to its medical doctors alongside an AI-powered chatbot, texts, and digital pictures. Its clients embody big firms corresponding to Boeing, in addition to well being plans and well being techniques. The corporate additionally affords a direct-to-consumer product.

98point6 CEO Robbie Cape mentioned the corporate is seeing tailwinds from elevated use by its present members, in addition to curiosity from new shoppers that didn’t have a digital well being providing or have been sad with their present software program.

Healthcare is one in every of many industries which have adopted expertise at a speedy tempo over the previous a number of months because of the pandemic. Different examples embody work collaboration with video conferencing instruments corresponding to Zoom, or training with distant studying platforms.

98point6 is amongst a bevy of health-tech startups seeing elevated utilization throughout the coronavirus disaster. The FCC in April authorised a $200 million program to fund telehealth providers and gadgets.

98point6 added coronavirus screening inquiries to its app in late January. Delivering care via digital channels retains people who find themselves contagious, although not significantly sick, at residence and remoted. The method additionally permits non-coronavirus sufferers to get the care they want, together with renewed prescriptions or different providers outdoors of a clinic or hospital the place they may threat an infection.

98point6’s digital healthcare platform.

Cape expects everlasting modifications in client habits and the notion of distant care.

“Individuals can conduct a go to with 98point6 from wherever at anytime,” he mentioned. “We match into the microslices of time that folks have of their day.”

98point6 makes cash by way of a membership-based mannequin. It expenses customers $120/12 months and $1 per go to. These utilizing a sponsored plan paid for by their employer, for instance, can entry medical doctors at low or no price.

Cape mentioned there are numerous use instances. Some folks rely extra closely on 98point6 for major care wants, whereas others apply it to a extra “episodic” foundation.

The corporate has greater than 50 core physicians on workers who assist reply lots of of inquiries per day.

“We’re capable of be extremely environment friendly,” Cape mentioned. “By our expertise investments, we’re endeavouring to bend the price curve down for supply of care very dramatically, and on the identical time bend the standard curve up. That’s what is exclusive about 98point6 — we’re doing each of those.”

Many giant insurance coverage carriers have waived cost-sharing for digital visits throughout the pandemic, however some are solely doing it for a restricted time. Which means demand will rise for an exterior service corresponding to 98point6 that’s outdoors a well being system or common major care follow and probably cheaper, in accordance with Cape.

Telehealth declare traces for privately insured folks spiked greater than 8,000% in April, Healthcare Dive reported. Telehealth volumes have dropped since then, however are nonetheless a lot increased than earlier than the pandemic, in accordance with analysis from Epic.

Accenture discovered that adoption of digital well being instruments had truly stalled since 2018 earlier than the pandemic.

“Though customers are focused on digital providers, a cumbersome digital expertise turns them off,” Accenture mentioned in its report. “Issues over privateness, safety and belief stay, together with problem integrating new instruments and providers into day-to-day scientific workflows.”

Nonetheless, latest offers present that firms and buyers are betting massive on extra folks utilizing telehealth, corresponding to Teladoc’s $18.5 billion acquisition of Livongo and Amwell’s $742 million IPO final month.

And folks maintain coming again to 98point6. Greater than half of its visits on a given month are from repeat clients, Cape mentioned.

The overwhelming majority of the brand new funding will go towards analysis and growth, together with hiring extra workers. Complete funding so far is now $247 million. The corporate declined to supply an up to date valuation.

Different earlier buyers embody BlackRock CEO Larry Fink; Costco co-founder Jim Sinegal; former Goldman Sachs CFO David Viniar; and Frazier Healthcare Companions Managing Accomplice Nader Naini.

Final month 98point6 inked a key take care of Sam’s Membership, a division of Walmart, which can promote 98point6 as a telehealth service for its clients.

Cape offered his earlier firm, the household scheduling app Cozi, to Time Inc. in 2014 and spent 12 years at Microsoft. He based 98point6 alongside Gordon Cohen, a professor at Arizona State College.

(Editor’s observe: 98point6 Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brad Younggren will probably be one of many featured panelists at this time at 12:45 p.m. on the GeekWire Summit in a session titled: How COVID-19 is Sparking a Telehealth Wave. For extra info and to register for the Summit, go to the occasion web site right here).

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