We got an exclusive look at the presentation two ex-Aetna execs used to raise $40 million for a new healthcare AI startup

  • Well Dot Inc., a healthcare AI startup, announced Monday it raised $40 million in Series A financing from existing investors General Catalyst, John Doerr, and Mosaic Health Solutions, among others.
  • The startup was cofounded by Gary Loveman, a former Caesars Entertainment and Aetna executive, and uses tactics similar to those used in casinos to get users to stick to activities and tasks that could make them healthier.
  • Well sells its services to employers that are then able to make an app available to employees. Those that opt in receive nudges and frequent rewards for completing tasks.
  • See the pitch deck that Loveman and his team used to win over investors for his company's $40 million Series A.
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Gary Loveman has an unusual background for a startup cofounder.

Loveman's 60 and trained as an economist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology before a stint as a Harvard professor. His career includes top roles at casino company Caesar's Entertainment and at the health insurer Aetna.

Loveman says that background makes him ideally suited for the mission of his startup, Well Dot Inc.: using the behavioral nudges and tactics he used to entice casino gamblers to help people stay healthier and manage diseases. He was working on similar consumer-facing projects at Aetna before the insurer was acquired by CVS Health.

"This is an unprecedented approach that uses the best thinking in the consumer space that we developed at Caesars and elsewhere to influence if you will, consumer or individual behavior in a way that has not been applied in health," Loveman said in an interview. Dave Werry, the former vice president of transformation at Aetna, is also a Well cofounder.

Dave Werrry is Well Dot's cofounder and president.Well Dot

On Monday, Well announced it raised $40 million in Series A financing from a group of investors that included General Catalyst, Kleiner Perkins chairman John Doerr, Mosaic Health Solutions, and partners of Hellman & Friedman. The round was a combination of debt and equity financing and came with an undisclosed valuation. The financing follows a $25 million seed round in 2019. 

Well works like this: employers sign up to offer the app to workers, and individuals can choose whether to opt in. If they do, Well gets access to some of their health information, and uses that to get a sense of what activities or tasks to push to the workers.

Well offers workers rewards for responding to questions about their health, and for completing lessons designed to help them be healthier or manage diseases. Most take just a few minutes.

The idea is to "build a cycle of success," Loveman said. Giving people small, frequent rewards is similar to how casinos keep people coming back, Loveman said.

Well got its start in early 2019, and the company is still small. Right now, about 1,200 people are using the app, though Loveman said he expects that to hit 50,000 by mid next year as several large companies sign on.

Take a look at the presentation Loveman uses to explain his new approach to keeping workers healthy and win over investors.

Well offers workers rewards for responding to questions about their health, and for completing lessons designed to help them be healthier or manage diseases.

Well sells its software to employers, and individual workers can choose whether to opt-in to using Well's app.

If employees opt to use the app, Well gets access to some of their health information, and uses that to get a sense of what activities or tasks to push to the workers.

Well offers more than 200 tasks designed to help people tackle a variety of health issues, from sleep and stress to asthma and heart problems.

Beyond the tasks, Well offers tools that help people navigate their care as well as virtual health consultations. The goal of the platform Loveman said, is to create sustainable health habits among employees, which ultimately leads to better health outcomes and lower costs for self-insured employers.

Although Well is mainly selling to companies, the employee experience within its app is a key part of its pitch. It plays on a trend of "consumerization" that has been infiltrating different areas of healthcare in recent years.

Loveman previously worked for insurer Aetna. At Well, he wants to build a more holistic solution that also offers virtual care and a concierge service in addition to rewards or health profiles.

The app relies on AI technology to alert users to new activities or tasks, which Loveman hopes can increase employees' engagement with the tool compared to existing solutions.

Although much of the cost savings is passed to the employer, Well could also decrease costs for patients by keeping them healthier with a more proactive approach to health.

Well's pitch touches on three key trends within the broader healthcare industry: personalization, consumerization, and a more holistic idea of what constitutes healthcare. The company says it can help companies reduce costs in several different ways.

The company just announced it raised $40 million in Series A funding from seed investors General Catalyst and John Doerr, among others, at an undisclosed valuation.

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