It’s not called the sandwich generation for nothing.
Millions of people in the US care for parents as they age or deal with illnesses. The constant demands of caregiving, often while working and raising children at the same time, can take a huge toll.
It’s not uncommon for caregivers to feel overwhelmed as they navigate the administrative and logistical complexities of caring for a parent. Wellthy is a startup focused on helping healthcare providers be better equipped to handle all aspects of their various responsibilities by serving as a self-described “tech-enabled care concierge”. The founder, Lindsay Jurist-Rosner, knows firsthand how challenging caregiving can be. She spent 28 years as a primary caregiver for her mother, who had multiple sclerosis. At the time, she also held a full-time job as a marketing manager at Microsoft.
Jurist-Rosner founded Wellthy in 2015 (the startup actually launched that year as a Battlefield participant at Acutely.info Disrupt) to help others like her who had to combine work and care. Initially, the company offered its services directly to consumers, but in 2017 it began partnering with employers so that companies could cover Wellthy’s costs as an employee benefit. Companies like Salesforce and Snap immediately joined.
Wellthy works by employing “skilled” people, many of whom are social workers, and matches them with families to help them with things like making follow-up doctor appointments, arranging transportation to those appointments, and purchasing supplies. necessary equipment and supplies.
“The goal is to make their lives better and easier, but also to save money,” said Jurist-Rosner. “Care is so incredibly expensive and opaque – and access is a problem.”
Employers have an interest in helping their employees with caregiving, as one of the reasons people leave the workforce is because they struggle to care for loved ones.
“It’s not an uncommon problem and yet it’s so underexposed,” Jurist-Rosner said. “It feels like mental health and women’s health are starting to get some well-deserved attention, but caregiving is still really under the radar.”
Wellthy saw his business “explode” in 2020 after the COVID-19 pandemic hit as healthcare became even more challenging “and employers were figuring out how best to support employees,” said Jurist-Rosner. Ffrom 2019 to 2022 the number of covered lives Wellthy benefits grew from about 100,000 to 2 million. And while the company declined to disclose hard revenue numbers, Jurist-Rosner says it saw revenue growth of 17x between 2019 and 2022.
Today, Wellthy works with health plans and hundreds of companies, including 30 of the Fortune 500 employers, six of the top 10, and companies such as Best buy, Cisco and Hilton. To support continued growth, Wellthy has just raised $25.5 million in funding. In an effort to expand its offerings, the startup has acquired Lantern, a charitable organization founded in 2018 that guides individuals and families in navigating life before and after a death.
Wellthy still has its own payment company, but does not promote it. It exists primarily so that if an employee leaves a company that has paid for access to Wellthy’s services, they can still get help.
In total, Wellthy has raised just over $77 million since its inception. The latest financing was an up-round, but Jurist-Rosner said the company was not focused on that.
“This was an opportunistic raise for us,” she said. “We have a lot to do on the technical side to support our growth, and we are starting with a number of health insurers. So there’s just a lot of momentum that we wanted to be able to continue to support with real investments.”
Previous lenders Hearst and Eldridge co-led the funding (both are also Wellthy clients), including participation from new lenders Citi Impact Fund, Cercano Management (Paul Allen’s family fund), and Stardust Equity, as well as existing lenders such as ReThink Impact.
Currently, New York City-based Wellthy has approximately 350 employers, 90% of which are full-time.
Todd Boehly, Chairman and CEO of Eldridge, d.o.believes Wellthy helped with both define and stimulate innovation in the healthcare market.
Ryan Alam, senior vice president of the Citi Impact Fund, notes that one in five adults in America is a caregiver.
“That is a large number that will only grow in the coming decades,” he added. “Anyone who has been a caregiver to a loved one will probably tell you that this is one of the toughest jobs they have ever had. In fact, people are leaving work at an alarming rate as they grapple with the challenges of care at home. Wellthy is the industry leader in solving them and it is a privilege to support their mission.”