The CareVoice, a Shanghai, China-based digital health startup targeting the insurance market, has raised $2 million in early-stage funding. Haitao Capital and SOSV, two China- and US-based venture capital firms, led the round. Other Chinese and Southeast Asian investors also contributed.
The CareVoice offers a cost- and quality-transparency tool that is available to the public, but which includes a premium version for those whose insurers buy into it.
“We help them figure out where they can go, what type of medical care they can access, but also filter this according to their insurance plan, so they can understand where they have direct billing, where there is co-pay, and we give more transparency to the insurance member because they have access to this independent rating and recommendation platform,” CEO Sebastian Gaudin told MobiHealthNews. “So we give them more choice. And then in this upgraded experience we develop more services for the insurance member so we help [them file] the claim, we are bringing the virtual nurse for triage, and so on.”
In China, where private healthcare and private health insurance are both fairly young markets, there’s a wide disparity in cost and quality and few tools for consumers to choose the best care, Gaudin said. That — combined with high internet and mobile penetration — makes China an ideal place for the company to start, but they are looking to expand to other countries including, potentially, the US.
The company has been growing quickly, adding major Chinese insurers like AXA, Ping’An, and Chubb.
“Considering our current growth and pipeline, we aim to provide half a million individual policyholders and 200 corporate accounts across over 10 insurance companies with our service within the next twelve months,” Jan Velich, CBO of The CareVoice, said in a statement.
Beyond cost transparency, The CareVoice is partnering with other tech startups to build additional features into the app, including an AI-based virtual nurse and fraud protection features.
“Really what we are building is a state-of-the-art digital health solution for insurance companies to engage with their clients,” Gaudin said. “To create a service around healthcare navigation, helping their members to find care with confidence, but also upgrading this with support for a symptom checker, health tracker, and so on. Because insurers ultimately want to get out of their pure payer role and just bring more value to their insurance member, create relationships, and generate savings by driving people to more cost-effective options.”