Wheel buys GoodRx's back-end virtual care technology for $20M

Wheel, a startup that built an all-in-one virtual care platform, picked up GoodRx's back-end virtual care technology for $19.5 million in cash.

The deal accelerates Wheel's growth into new markets and expands its existing partnership with drug discount app GoodRx through a multiyear agreement, the companies said in a press release.

GoodRx filed paperwork Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission detailing the deal. The sale is expected to close by the end of November 2022. Axios first reported the deal last week.

Since 2020, Wheel has provided its technology and nationwide clinician network for the GoodRx Care service.

As part of the acquisition deal, GoodRx still owns the consumer-facing GoodRx Care website and mobile app and will continue to provide its consumers access to telehealth services using Wheel’s technology and staffing service. 

With the deal, Wheel gets access to GoodRx Care's clinician-centric electronic medical record system, clinical management tools and patient experience software. Wheel will integrate GoodRx Care's underlying technology to expand its existing virtual care platform capabilities.

Launched in 2018, Wheel is behind the scenes powering the infrastructure behind virtual care. The Austin, Texas-based company provides a prebuilt virtual care platform and nationwide clinician network that enables healthcare companies to scale up telehealth services—and do it in weeks rather than 15 months.

The company delivered 1.3 million patient visits in 2021 and is expected to triple visit volume by the end of 2022. The company also grew its clinician network by more than 60% year over year while maintaining a 90% retention rate.

"At a time when the healthcare industry is at a major inflection point, this acquisition accelerates our long-term strategy to power virtual-first care across the broader healthcare ecosystem," said Wheel CEO and co-founder Michelle Davey. "GoodRx is well known in the industry for developing best-in-class virtual care tools. By combining our underlying technologies into one comprehensive and flexible platform, Wheel is well positioned to continue to serve as the leading solution for virtual-first care."

The deal with Wheel will give GoodRx the flexibility it needs to continue providing access to telehealth solutions for its users, the company said.

"We believe Wheel is the ideal strategic partner for this acquisition," said Doug Hirsch, co-CEO and co-founder of GoodRx, in a statement. "Wheel has provided technology and clinicians for GoodRx Care for several years, giving us high confidence in their ability to operate and grow the platform. By entering into a long-term strategic arrangement, we look forward to deepening our mutually-beneficial relationship."

This marks Wheel's first acquisition.

The company says it has expanded its client portfolio by 100% year over year while growing top accounts by 350%. Wheel’s clients today include digital health companies, clinical lab networks, retailers, traditional healthcare providers and tech companies. 

Wheel has raised $216 million to date, including a $50 million series B round in May 2021. The company's massive growth has been fueled by the healthcare industry's staffing needs and the demand for the core software infrastructure to power virtual care.