Health, Wellness & Biotech

Testing From Home: ixLayer Raises $75M For Scaling Telehealth Diagnostic Services

Illustration of worker hands holding petri dish with covid bacteria.

Diagnostic health testing startup ixLayer has created a telehealth platform that provides an infrastructure for payors, providers and government partners to scale testing in weeks versus months.

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Co-founder and CEO Pouria Sanae spoke with me in December about predictions surrounding the volume of COVID-19 testing waning as more people are vaccinated.

One of his other predictions came true already, that the biggest vaccine challenge will be the “last mile:” How they will reach facilities, who will monitor which person gets what vaccine, and who will keep up with reminders for the second dose. Data shows more than 92 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered in the U.S. since Dec. 14, according to federal data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

At the time, San Francisco-based ixLayer had secured an undisclosed Series A round in 2019. Now the company is back with $75 million in an oversubscribed Series A funding.

The round was led by General Catalyst with participation from the lead seed investor Pear VC, as well as Bobby Yazdani, Dara Khosrowshahi, Anne Wojcicki, Zeshan Muhammedi and Hamid Moghadam. This new funding brings ixLayer’s total funding to just under $78.5 million since being founded in 2018, Sanae said.

“Last year was the toughest for our team — they were working 12-hour shifts and weekends to support the demand,” he told Crunchbase News. “Looking back, we should have raised the round earlier, but realized it was no time to breathe. Things got quiet in December, so we started talking to investors. When reaching out to networks, like Hemant (Taneja) at General Catalyst, he immediately understood what we were doing.”

Taneja, managing partner at General Catalyst, said via email that he was introduced to ixLayer by another VC, and from the first meeting with Sanae knew the firm wanted to lead the Series A.

“We invested because this team is addressing some real challenges in our health care system,” he added. “Billions of lab tests are ordered every year, and they are farmed out to hundreds of thousands of labs. It’s a highly fragmented system and, as COVID exposed to us all, the overall system is not very scalable or resilient. ixLayer has an ambitious vision for becoming the platform that connects all the key stakeholders — consumers, care professionals and diagnostics labs — to digital transform the diagnostics industry.”

COVID-19 accelerated the adoption and comfort, from both consumers and primary care providers, with using telehealth tools, Sanae said. As a result, up to $250 billion of current health care spend in the U.S. could be virtual, according to a recent report from McKinsey. This potential is also creating demand for ixLayer’s technical infrastructure to connect the services required for telehealth programs to run efficiently, he added.

The company’s proprietary technology connects the health testing ecosystem of services, enabling the rapid launch of testing programs while driving patient engagement from home.

“Every health test can be done in a new fashion, but our approach is we solve this for you and partner up with those services depending on state and regulation,” Sanae said.

He said he intends to use the new funding to grow the team to support ixLayer’s growth. It currently works with 14 enterprise customers and two government contracts. It is running some 1,000 testing programs with 450,000 patients and over 1 million lab tests performed in the past year.

There are more than 260,000 laboratories in the U.S. and prior to COVID, there were 14 billion lab tests done. And while the market is north of $50 million this year, it has the potential to jump to as much as $200 million next year, Sanae said.

“There is a whole telehealth transformation happening as we speak, and 2021 will be a key year,” he added. “Last year was a wake-up year, and 2021 is the reactive year. This is going to be an exciting year because we are now where we thought we would be three years from now. Companies will be coming out strong in diagnostics, and we plan to be one of them.”

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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