Health, Wellness & Biotech

Clearing Targets Chronic Pain With $20M Seed

Illustration of swiping smartphone for diagnosis-nursing shortage

New York-based Clearing is developing a health care technology platform for chronic pain sufferers to manage their treatments.

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The company closed on more than $20 million in seed funding to scale operations for its customized pain treatment plans that are nonaddictive, affordable and delivered to the patient’s door.

Bessemer Venture Partners and Founders Fund led the investment and were joined by a group of founders from companies including Flatiron Health, Curology, Hims & Hers, Seamless, Grubhub and Forward Health.

Founder and CEO Avi Dorfman launched the company in 2020, which is his first foray into health care after founding other companies, as well as advising and investing in them for the past 13 years.

“I had a deeply personal experience with a loved one in chronic pain and spent years navigating the system with them,” Dorfman told Crunchbase News.

Upon describing the situation to his friend Jacob Hascalovici, a pain neurologist who became his co-founder, Hascalovici was able to identify the problem and helped keep Dorfman’s loved one out of pain for five months. When Dorfman asked Hascalovici why it took so long to find the right doctor and treatment, he was surprised to learn the reason.

“There are only 7,000 doctors in pain management, but 50 million Americans dealing with this, and studies show 2 million new people are added each year,” Dorfman said. “We knew we had to do something about it.”

Clearing is essentially taking what Hascalovici does in his practice, moving it online, and adding in affordable physical therapy and compound pharmacy programs, with a goal of reaching those 50 million people who wouldn’t normally be able to see a pain management doctor, Dorfman said.

The company launched its platform Tuesday, which connects patients with a medical professional who reviews their background, history and symptoms to develop a bespoke treatment plan, with 10,000 on the waitlist.

Dorfman intends to use the new funding for further customer acquisition and product development. While it’s too early to discuss company growth, he did say that Clearing is working with sports teams and a group of medical professionals.

“We need to get out there and get Clearing into the hands of patients,” Dorfman added. “These are people who are already trial-and-erroring many different solutions in order to find relief. We are here to provide them with a ‘medical hug,’ and a solution that is grounded in science. They tell us how they feel, and we are their Sherpa on the journey to find the solution that works for them.”

Meanwhile, Emily Melton, founder and managing partner of Threshold, and Clearing investor, said the company is operating in a new category of health care she called “consumerization of health,” that is about delivering care.

“We are excited about companies like this, which have a social moral imperative to bring care to patients that don’t have access,” Melton said in an interview. “Clearing is treating chronic pain with the person, not as a disease, which empowers them to manage their disease so they can go back to life.”

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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