On Wednesday, Austin-based healthtech startup Wheel announced its $50 million Series B. Lightspeed Ventures led the round, which brings the company’s total funding raised since it was founded in 2018 to $66 million.
2020 was a big year for healthtech companies in general, but it was also the year that telehealth and virtual healthcare services went mainstream. Not only did the Covid-19 pandemic cause people to pay closer attention to their health, it also prevented many people from seeing doctors in person. Instead, people opted to talk to their healthcare professionals via text, phone or video calls.
Even as the U.S. gets closer to beating the pandemic, people are betting that telehealth is here to stay, and Wheel wants to make sure that healthcare practices are ready to adapt to this digital world.
Wheel partners with healthcare providers to help them build virtual care services. This includes creating white label tech services to fit the needs of each of its customers, as well as providing these companies with access to its network of clinicians who are willing to work virtually.
“Imagine being able to pull out your phone and instantly get connected with the best doctor for your care needs,” Wheel CEO and co-founder Michelle Davey said in a statement. “We’re building the technology to make this complex and expensive feat a reality for millions of patients. If we actually want to expand access to healthcare, we need the industry to recognize there’s a better way to reach patients than simply bringing the broken system online. That’s why we’re powering the next generation of healthcare companies and clinicians to make virtual care work for everyone.”
Wheel experienced a record year for growth in 2020. The company grew 300 percent year over year and helped facilitate almost 500,000 patient visits last year. It also grew its clinician network by 450 percent.
Wheel hopes to use the Series B to help keep up this growth. That involves working to expand its clinician network as well as grow its team. Wheel is currently hiring for over 20 open jobs, which include roles in engineering, product, operations, sales and more.
The company also plans to use some of this funding to expand its training resources to help clinicians still adapting to seeing patients in a virtual environment.
With this funding, Lightspeed senior advisor Dr. Ling Wong will join Wheel’s board of directors.