The global pandemic sped up the adoption of telemedicine to a matter of months from the years the industry was expecting.
Subscribe to the Crunchbase Daily
One of the companies at the forefront of the space is Seattle-based 98point6, providing on-demand digital primary care service for patients that includes personalized consultation, diagnosis and treatment.
The company, founded in 2015, raised $118 million in Series E funding led by the Growth Fund of L Catterton and Activant Capital. Additional funding came from new and returning investors, including Goldman Sachs.
Including the Series E, 98point6 has raised a total of $247 million since its inception, co-founder and CEO Robbie Cape told Crunchbase News. The company previously announced a $43 million venture round in April, according to Crunchbase data.
The funding news comes about a month after Sam’s Club announced it would be teaming up with 98point6 to offer the virtual primary care platform, via 98point6’s text-based app, to its 44 million members.
“The relationship with Sam’s Club has continued to develop very nicely over the last year,” Cape said. “We announced our pilot with them last October to a limited number of states, and just a few weeks ago, the national rollout.”
Cape intends the new funding to go heavily into research and development, as well as expanding its medical practice to employers, health plans and retail partners. The company has 330 employees and will be hiring in engineering, data science, product management and user experience.
The company was projected to grow 10 times year over year prior to the pandemic. However, the arrival of COVID led the company to, in some cases, compress nine months of work into one on the tech side, Cape said. Even being that prepared, the company saw its base grow by close to 300 percent “in a matter of months,” he added.
“We do continue to grow exceptionally quickly, but most of the growth can be scaled with an investment in technology,” he added. “We remain very focused on delivering on our mission: For every human on Earth to have access to the highest quality primary care without having to make a financial tradeoff to do it.”
What investors have to say
Michael Farello, managing partner of L Catterton Growth Fund, said via email that his firm is following innovations in the consumer health care space and was introduced to Cape and his team.
“While the pandemic has accelerated adoption, we are confident that the desire for on-demand, digitally-enabled primary care is here to stay,” he said. “98point6 not only delivers a superior customer value proposition, but also takes cost out of the system while helping to resolve physician supply constraints. With 24/7 accessibility, the latest advancements in AI and automation, and a diverse network of best-in-class physicians, 98point6 has differentiated itself in the digital primary care market.”
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias