New York-based Sesame, which offers a direct-pay healthcare marketplace, announced on Tuesday (April 27) that it has raised an additional $24 million in venture capital. In a press release, the company said that the funding would help build its marketplace and “expand access to affordable, quality care nationwide across telehealth services, pharmacy distribution and in-person care.” Sesame patients pay doctors directly after tapping into the network of 1,000 providers on its marketplace.
The funding round included new investors Giant Ventures, Industry Ventures and Coefficient Capital. Existing investors General Catalyst, Entree Capital and Atreides Management also contributed additional funds. The latest funding brings Sesame’s total capital raised to just under $50 million since it launched in 2019, the release said.
“What the Sesame team has built in the last year has the promise to completely transform the direct-pay healthcare” sector, said Cameron McLain, managing partner of Giant Ventures.
The healthcare system in the U.S. is broken, Sesame CEO David Goldhill told PYMNTS in an interview last year. Goldhill argued that the health system we have was set up for another time. In the 1950s, the insured only had an episodic need for emergency care. At that time, he said, insurance companies took care of the bulk of such payments, and consumers’ expended funds were low if they came into play at all. In contrast, he said, more than 80 percent of medical spending now covers chronic conditions, meaning the industry needs to design the bulk of care around a concept of being continuous, not episodic.
Many Americans have high-deductible health plans and end up paying healthcare expenses out of pocket, since all but the most serious situations rarely ever cross the deductible’s threshold. Through Sesame, consumers can find doctors and pay a transparent, discounted price that has already been negotiated by Sesame and accepted by the doctor.
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