Health, Wellness & Biotech

Providing A Virtual Specialist: Summus Global Raises $21M Series B

Telehealth received a big boost during the global pandemic as people practiced social distancing to see their doctors.

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Summus Global is riding that wave, having raised a new round of $21 million in Series B funding to provide virtual visits with specialists as an employee benefit.

“The connection between doctors and patients is important, but physicians aren’t always incentivized to spend quality time with people or be available quickly,” Julian Flannery, co-founder and CEO of Summus, told Crunchbase News. “We’ve designed a digital front door for employees to type in a question, we triage on the back end and make doctors available.”

Sator Grove Holdings led the new round of financing and was joined by the Outsiders Fund, Savoy Capital, Teamworthy Ventures and additional existing investors. Including this round, Summus has raised a total of $27 million since the company was founded in 2015, according to Flannery.

Prior to the pandemic, 11 percent of people were using virtual care, and now that is 76 percent, Flannery said. In addition, 65 percent of doctors are satisfied with using virtual care to engage with patients.

“The market caught up with us,” he added. “Before, we had to explain our model, but now everyone gets it. It has enabled us to raise money and partner with people like Rick [Buhrman] and other investors to attack this opportunity.”

Buhrman, co-founder and co-CEO of Sator Grove Holdings, said in an interview that Summus’ approach resonated with him. After his son was born in 2016, Buhrman has spent the past five years navigating that exact dynamic — seeing specialists at multiple hospitals — and realizing the experience could be better.

Experiencing what was currently built out, the difficulty of developing an ecosystem of physicians, and how it would have changed trajectory for him and his son, he was attracted to Summus and how valuable it could be to doctors and patients.

“We identified with their hypothesis, when we talked to employers that were early adopters, we were able to understand the dynamic, that Summus was essentially providing a service that was previously only offered to the C-suite, but now to everyone through the employer,” Buhrman said. “Summus is democratizing the world of health care, and has a talented team and product that delights all involved.”

Meanwhile, the global medical second opinion market was valued at $3.2 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $10.7 billion by 2027, according to

To gain a foothold in that growing sector, Flannery intends to use the new capital to expand Summus’ footprint across the U.S., deepen relationships with centers of excellence, and technology and product development. He is planning an international expansion which initially includes the Middle East.

In the past year, the company saw platform utilization rates grow between 5x and 7x, while also seeing an 11x bump in membership, he said.

“We will be aggressively investing in the data and engineering side, as well as broadening our footprint with strategic alliances, sales and marketing,” Flannery added. “We have a profitable model today and are on track to expand our network beyond 4,000 doctors.”

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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