Georgian Partners Leads New Investment in Welltok
Georgian has invested in Welltok and we couldn’t be more pleased. This is our second investment in a healthcare platform (the first being Kinnser) and we will undoubtedly do more. We have been exploring healthcare opportunities for the past five years and believe that the complexity and reliance on accurate data lends itself perfectly to our applied analytics investment thesis, and to the emerging opportunities we see in artificial intelligence, security first and messaging for business.
Through our exploration of dozens of companies we have come to the belief that in healthcare, even more so than in other industries, deep experience and ability of the team to execute will separate the winners from the rest. We’ve met a good number of impressive companies that had the markings of high growth SaaS businesses but they didn’t necessarily have healthcare experts leading them. We’ve been looking for teams that have the deep expertise to create truly disruptive platforms while executing fast enough to lock up broad segments of the market.
We originally found Welltok through outbound calling efforts by our team and connected with Maneesh Goyal (SVP Corporate Development). Welltok had a strong balance sheet and a “who’s who” of healthcare investors (NEA, Emergence, Interwest, Qualcomm Ventures, Bessemer) but they didn’t need the money and they had never heard of Georgian Partners. However, we struck a chord with them around our applied analytics thesis, and I began to explore the fit with my friend Steve Kraus (Partner at Bessemer) who was on the Board. An introduction to Jeff Margolis let us know we had found the right team who could execute in this market. Jeff is a seasoned healthcare operator, having built and sold Trizetto, and he’s built out his executive team with successful healthcare operators in their respective areas. You can hear one of those executives, Chief Technology and Product Officer Brian Garcia, talking about how Welltok is leveraging the artificial intelligence capabilities of IBM Watson in this episode of the Impact Podcast.
Welltok has taken on the challenge of helping healthcare consumers better understand the options, programs and coverage available to them while helping them make healthier decisions. The platform (CaféWell) uses machine learning to help individuals easily navigate complex coverage plans (corporate, private, medicare, medicaid) in plain English. For example using CaféWell Concierge you can enter simple queries (“is my son Andrew covered for orthodontics”) and get the information you need in real-time, on your mobile device, at the doctors office or wherever you are. Further the platform will build customized health itineraries for you and your family, challenge you to make healthier choices and reward you for doing so. You can tie in your Fitbit, Pebble, Apple Watch and so on. Its cool stuff, and it’s the right way to get folks motivated and moving. We have already rolled up our sleeves and are spending time with their impressive data science team working on automated insights across the various audiences that the platform touches.
Stayed tuned for more exciting announcements at Welltok and more announcements from Georgian in the healthcare space.