This afternoon Welkin, a startup focused on patient relationship management through messaging services and workflow organization, announced a $17.5 million Series B funding round exclusively to MobiHealthNews. The new funding was led by Altos Ventures, a Silicon Valley-based venture firm that invests specifically in American and South Korean companies. Existing investors Thrive Capital, Red Swan and Asset Management also contributed.
This new funding comes two years after the San Francisco-based startup landed $8 million in funding to scale and built out their offerings.
WHAT THEY DO
Welkin was founded in 2013 with a focus on diabetes management but it quickly identified patient engagement workflow tools as a problem area in the space.
“After a few years of doing [diabetes management] we basically realized … all of these organizations that are trying to build on the patient experience are struggling with the same problem, which is effectively needing good workflow tools behind the scenes to make these sorts of programs run,” Chase Hensel, Welkin’s CEO and cofounder, told MobiHealthNews. “That seemed like a more important opportunity for us to be working on instead of, say, our own patient-specific program. That was the genesis of how we ended up where we are.”
Now the company focuses on helping its clients tackle issues related to patient engagement workflow.
“Welkin is building software for companies to manage relationships with patients,” he said. “Our end customers are folks who are doing things like disease management, care management, health coaching and a lot of medical device onboarding."
While the clients come from various backgrounds, Hensel said they all have similar goals for using the technology.
“The use cases are pretty similar. It is all a response and a push towards value and the end organization trying to be more preventative and proactive in managing relationships with patients,” he said.
In the past the company has teamed up with community health plans to help staff remotely monitor patients with ongoing health issues and help with medication adherence, diet and exercise plans.
WHAT IT’S FOR
The company plans to use the new money to expand both its team and product line.
“It gives us enough time to build out everything we need to do to build out a long-term, sustaining business,” Hensel said. “With this money we are basically doubling down on building out our commercial team and building out our products, with an eye on controlling our own destiny.”
A number of startups and large provider organizations are using the platform. According to the company, Neurotrack, Risalto and Nevro are currently employing the technology.
Engagement and workflow tools have been a long focus in the digital health space. In fact, in May Harris Computer Systems, through its healthcare group, acquired Uniphy Health, a startup focused on patient and provider engagement and physician workflow software.
TransformativeMed is another EHR-friendly clinician coordination and messaging softwaretool on the market. This company landed $5.8 million in Series A funding at the beginning of the month.
ON THE RECORD
“The things we are focused on in this business are how do we make the lives of our customers easier and easier. Setting up a healthcare service is pretty hard,” Hensel said. “Most of what we think about these days is trying to get ahead of the common pitfalls.”