AXA Strategic Ventures Invests in NYC-based Digital Startup Wellth

The $2 million round also includes investments from B-Fore Capital, I2BF Venture Capital, Beta Bridge Ventures and AltaIR Capital.

(Wellth co-founder and CTO, Alec Zopf. Source: TechCrunch.)

AXA Strategic Ventures (ASV; Paris, New York and San Francisco), a global $250 million venture capital fund, has announced that it has led a funding round of $2 million in Wellth, which the announcement describes as a mobile first, financial incentive focused behavior change platform. The round also includes investments from B-Fore Capital, I2BF Venture Capital, Beta Bridge Ventures and AltaIR Capital, ASV reports.

 Matt Loper, CEO, Wellth.

Matt Loper, CEO, Wellth.

Based in New York City and founded in 2014, Wellth aims to help insurers and risk-bearing healthcare providers better understand their populations, improve customer health and retention, and lower costs, through a mobile first, financial incentive focused behavior change platform, according to ASV. Its goal is to help ensure the adoption and success of value-based care.

“We built Wellth, and the methodology of using incentives to improve patient behavior, based on decades of peer reviewed research,” comments Matt Loper, CEO, Wellth.  “We’re passionate about helping patients lead healthier lives and helping insurers better serve their clients. With this investment from AXA Strategic Ventures, we’re able to expand our pilots to full implementation and continue to make it easier for people with chronic conditions to stay healthy.”

As part of the round, Manish Agarwal, General Partner of AXA Strategic Ventures, will join the Wellth Board of Directors. “We are excited that Wellth’s ability to prompt and verify patient behaviors translates into fewer hospitalizations, readmissions and overall lower medical costs,” Agarwal comments. “This investment continues our focus on digital health as a core investment thesis.”

Manish Agarwal, General Partner, AXA Strategic Ventures.

Manish Agarwal, General Partner, AXA Strategic Ventures.

Habit-Forming App

ASV describes the WellthApp as a mobile application that makes it easy for target populations to start and maintain healthy habits such as pill adherence or glucose monitoring. “Tracking and verification occur through the patient’s smartphone camera–users can quickly snap a picture of a pill in their hand and the time and date will be logged within the app,” the ASV statement reads. “Many times, patients leave a hospital and fail to follow the instructions given by caregivers and unfortunately caregivers are often not able to follow up with every patient’s activities. Using Wellth, patients can keep track of their medical activities with the application and that information can be shared with primary caregivers.”

Wellth and its insurance partners focus on the high risk populations, such as members with type 2 diabetes, asthma and heart disease. The company has developed financial incentives based on peer-reviewed research into behavioral economics and chronic disease management, according to ASV. In a pilot program sponsored by a major national health insurer, diabetic patients using Wellth increased daily medication adherence by more than 50 percent.

Q&A: Manish Agarwal of AXA Strategic Ventures Discusses Investing in Innovation

Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For nearly two decades, he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at [email protected] or (503) 936-2803.

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