First Stop telemedicine start-up raises $2.1m seed funding
February 16, 2016
First Stop Health, a Chicago-based telemedicine provider, has finalised its latest seed round at $2.1m, bringing total funding to date to $5.6m.
The latest round of seed investment was led by existing investors, including company co-founders Patrick Spain and Mark Friedman, and several family offices and angel investors from the Midwest and Texas. New investors included several technology entrepreneurs and a European investment group.
During 2015, First Stop Health used portions of the new capital to build a proprietary physician network and triple sales. In 2016, the company plans to use the investment to enhance its physician network, expand sales and marketing efforts, and build technology enhancements around its physician, client and member platforms.
"Telemedicine can play a key role in transforming what is currently a less than patient-centric healthcare experience into a delightful one," said Spain. “As patients are being asked to bear an ever increasing burden of the cost of healthcare, a high utilisation telemedicine plan can limit the financial impact for both the patient and the employer and be a wonderful patient experience at the same time. Members can have their non-emergency medical issues addressed by doctors within a matter of minutes without spending any of their own money; for many members, it is truly a transformational experience."
Critics of telemedicine have long focused on its extremely low utilisation rates. First Stop Health says it has achieved high utilisation across its customer base – four to seven times higher than typical industry rates.
The company offers immediate, round-the-clock phone and online access to its US-based national physician network that provides members with advice, diagnosis and treatment, including – when necessary – prescriptions.