Bullish on growing use of telehealth, Wheel banks $150M to expand white-labeled virtual care services

Wheel, a startup that is behind the scenes powering the infrastructure behind virtual care, landed $150 million in series C funding to fuel its growth.

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.

Wheel 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. 

“Telehealth 1.0 brought healthcare visits online but companies are still struggling to meet their patients' care needs,” said Wheel CEO and co-founder Michelle Davey in a statement. “We recognized that in order to move the healthcare industry forward and truly deliver on the promise of virtual-first care, we need both the infrastructure and workforce that can deliver ‘anytime, anywhere’ care." 

The series C round was co-led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Tiger Global. New investors Coatue and Salesforce Ventures also participated in the round, along with existing investors CRV, Tusk Venture Partners and Silverton Partners.

Wheel has raised $216 million to date, including a $50 million series B round in May 2021. 

RELATED: Wheel teams up with GoodRx to integrate medication pricing information into its virtual care platform

The startup plans to use the fresh capital to further invest in its platform and broaden its white-labeled diagnostic services, enabling companies to integrate direct-to-consumer lab testing and diagnostic follow-up care. The company also plans to double its employee headcount, continue growing its clinician network and expand its clinical onboarding and continuing education programs. 

Davey cut her teeth in recruiting at Google and then took a recruiting role at an on-demand delivery startup. There, she built up the network of contract drivers from 300 to 45,000 people during the height of the gig economy.

Working at health tech startup Medici, Davey recognized the need for a new workforce configuration in healthcare and convinced Medici’s general counsel Griffin Mulcahey to join her in launching a virtual health clinician matching marketplace called Enzyme. That company later became Wheel.

RELATED: Telehealth staffing and tech services startup Wheel banks $50M to power virtual care

The promise of telehealth is expanding access to care, Davey told Fierce Healthcare back in May 2021. "It's about connecting patients to the right care for them when they need it most," she said. 

Launched in 2018, Wheel pioneered a new way for companies to build and scale virtual care. Instead of starting from scratch, companies can leverage Wheel’s services, bypassing the hefty investment—in some cases up to $15 million—it can take to build from the ground up, according to the company.

By utilizing Wheel's platform, companies can provide more personalized care as the startup's underlying infrastructure and technology can triage the patient’s care need and determine the best care setting, match the patient with the best clinician for their care needs across more than a dozen attributes and facilitate any necessary follow-up care. 

The company's white-labeled virtual care platform supports asynchronous chat, on-demand and scheduled video visits, remote patient monitoring, clinician oversight for labs and follow-up care. Wheel also has integrated virtual primary care, behavioral health, urgent care and diagnostics into one solution. 

"Wheel has played a critical role in the healthcare industry's transformation to bring care online," said Tiger Global Partner Jay Chen in a statement. "We're still in the early innings, and Wheel's work behind-the-scenes to power some of the most disruptive companies in healthcare today and in the future is incredibly exciting."