Cambia Health Solutions, a Portland, Oregon-based health insurance company, has shut down its mobile payment startup Wellero after two years. With only about 1,100 users on the app despite it being deployed at 700 health plans, it appears the service just failed to get traction. Oregon health news site The Lund Report first reported the news.
"We’ve decided to wind down operations of Wellero," the company said in a statement. "We launch startup ventures because of their potential to transform health care. Sometimes, those early stage investments don’t bloom into mature stand-alone companies. We’ll continue to use and build upon Wellero’s tools and services to make paying for health care easier for consumers."
Launched in October 2013, Wellero's product was a mobile app that could inform patients about the costs of their medical treatment before they left the doctor's office and allow them to pay at the time of service.
"We've all left the doctor's office only to receive a surprise bill in the mail weeks later," Wellero co-founder and President Hanny Freiwat said in a statement at the time. "As patients ourselves, we saw a need for the ability to check-in, see the price of the service, and calculate the cost of the visit based on our insurance coverage. We wanted to pay at the provider's office if we were incented with a prompt payment discount or just to avoid the confusing paper trail that precedes the actual bill."
Freiwat now lists himself as "looking for new opportunities" on his LinkedIn page. He originally moved over from Cambia when Wellero was founded. Cofounder Shawn Smith, on the other hand, is now back at Cambia in a director role.
Wellero was just one of a small handful of wholly-owned subsidiaries to spin out of Cambia, the rest of which appear to be operational. These include Spendwell, a healthcare e-commerce platform; HealthSparq, an online shopping platform for healthcare services; hubbub health, an employee wellness company. Cambia is also a major investor in a number of startups, including payment-related companies LifeNexus and CoPatient.