Text-based primary care startup 98point6 raises $119M


98point6 lets users connect to a text-based visit with a physician. Photo credit: 98point6

In the last year, digital health companies have seen an influx of interest from investors, and 98point6 is no exception.

The text-based primary care startup raised $119 million, for a total of more than $240 million to date. Private equity firms L Catterton and Activant Capital both led the series E funding round.

“We’ve created an experience that patients use and love,” 98point6 CEO Robbie Cape said in a news release. “98point6 has experienced accelerated growth over the last year, due in part to the pandemic, as more organizations recognized the existing and undeniable desire for on-demand, digitally enabled care.”

The startup connects users to an on-demand visit with a physician, normally conducted through text, though it also offers video visits. It’s intended to help with a number of common conditions, such as coughs and colds, UTIs, or eczema.

In the past year, 98point6 said the number of people using its platform has increased by 274%. Most of them access it as a benefit through their health plan; 98point6 has struck partnerships with more than 240 companies, including Boeing and Circle K. Some insurers, including Premera and a health plan developed by Arizona-based Banner Health and Aetna, also offer its text-based telehealth as a benefit.

Most recently, the startup also struck a partnership with Sam’s Club to sell 98point6’s membership to its customers. Normally, 98point6 offers cash-pay customers a yearly subscription for $120, but the Sam’s Club membership is broken down into a quarterly fee of $33.50.

With the new funding, 98point6 said it plans to build out its platform and further grow its user base.

In spite of the number of digital health companies that have entered the public markets this summer — from Amwell to Hims & Hers — the Seattle-based startup doesn’t seem to be in a rush to go public yet.

“When and if a public offering is the best next step towards accelerating our efforts, it is something we will certainly contemplate,” a company spokesperson wrote in an email.

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