Upside of Disruption: Wellnecity – Watching the Healthcare Levers

The third story in our Upside series is about the advantage of an enterprise solution that cuts cost – especially when employers are desperate to control expenses.

Wellnecity empowers self-insured employers to save up to $2,000/employee per year leveraging their proprietary AI-powered service.

We met cofounder and CEO John Quinn in 2017 as a referral to Flywheel from UNCC’s Ventureprise program. The company is currently in WinstonStart’s growth program. Since our first meeting they have raised $3.4 million, with $1 million self-funded and the rest through three seed rounds.

Wellnecity has grown their employee base from two to twelve full-time, with another 14 independent contractors located in US and offshore. John is projecting three more hires from Wake Forest’s MSBA program in June and 20 FTE’s in US by end of year.

“The pandemic is slowing conversations at the top of our business development funnel” says John, “but more developed prospects and current customers are showing an increased urgency and desire for controlling cost.”

“We are watching two levers closely,” he continues. “First, what’s the cost profile of healthcare tied to the pandemic? The analytics coming out of brokerage houses show inconsistent estimates of pandemic related costs. In contrast, we see near real time data allowing us to adjust forecasts week-by-week as the pandemic unfolds.”

The data paints a problematic picture with regard to the pandemic’s impact on household healthcare expenses. To help households, John says “We are working with clients to help understand local hot-spots and focus testing to get people safely back to work.”

“Secondly, there is a huge backlog for primary care and elective care – this demand bubble needs to be proactively managed,” he continues. “We look at this backlog of care as an opportunity to steer employees to higher quality providers, who are also willing to agree to pre-set rates for care – a growing trend in US healthcare.”

I asked him his observation about how other startups are doing. “In general, there are two categories of impacts for startups themselves,” he said. “Direct to consumer has been hit hard. B2B is doing better.”

Like Fluree, he notes that “it’s really hard to get people’s time right now making it hard to do early stage business development, and that could impact us down the road. Right now, Wellnecity is focused on converting more developed prospects who understand our value and supporting clients in a world heavily impacted by COVID.”