Accolade, a healthcare company led by Concur co-founders Raj Singh and Mike Hilton that helps people and companies navigate the healthcare system, announced Wednesday it raised more than $70 million in new funding.
The Series E round was led by Silicon Valley powerhouse Andreessen Horowitz, and Seattle-based Madrona Venture Group participated as well. Accolade says it will use the money to improve its technology platform, research and development capacity and sales and marketing initiatives. As part of the deal, Jeff Jordan, Andreessen Horowitz general partner and a speaker at the 2016 GeekWire Summit, will join Accolade’s board.
“Accolade is simply the best tool we’ve seen to help companies simultaneously improve both the quality and the cost of healthcare,” Jordan said in a statement. “It’s delivering magical results—the service makes employees healthier and happier with their benefits, while at the same time driving big savings to employers and insurance companies.”
Accolade has now raised more than $90 million in this round, and more than $160 million in total. Singh called the participation of Andreessen and Madrona the “best outcome we could have hoped for” because both venture capital firms have long-term vision and understand how to build products that do well in the market.
“We can grow like crazy, we can build a bunch of technology that delivers a ton of value and we can change the way healthcare works in this country,” Singh said about what the company can do with the newest investment.
Singh and Hilton left Concur last year after they sold the company to SAP for $8.3 billion. About a year later, the long-time business partners reunited and joined Accolade. As part of their deal to lead Accolade — Singh as CEO, Hilton as chief product officer — they remained in the Seattle area to establish a second headquarters for Philadelphia-based Accolade.
That office opened in February at the Washington State Convention Center, where Accolade has a single floor that is home to more than 50 engineers, data scientists, software engineers, marketing employees and others. And Accolade is hiring more people for the Seattle office.
The 9-year-old company employs more than 700. Since taking on Comcast as its first customer in 2009, the company has served as an intermediary, helping employees at major corporations navigate healthcare systems. The idea is to make things more approachable so patients feel comfortable and doctors are able to deliver the best care possible. Other big customers include Lowe’s and Hewlett Packard.
Singh said in an interview with GeekWire that healthcare costs represent about $1 out of every $5 spent in the United States and that number increases all the time. Accolade helps its more than 800,000 customers on various health plans and health systems save approximately 5 to 15 percent on healthcare costs, he said.
“The idea that you could actually bend the cost curve and reduce costs for delivering care while improving outcomes and delivering satisfaction, that’s pretty radical,” Singh said.
Accolade blends technology, healthcare and customer service. It employs doctors, nurses and other healthcare specialists, called Accolade Health Assistants, who serve as the point of contact, or a concierge as the company calls it, to guide people through the healthcare system. The same health assistant stays with the customer throughout the process.
Singh said this kind of concept already exists but it’s not affordable for most. It’s called concierge medicine, and Accolade wants to use its service to democratize that level of one-on-one interaction with the healthcare system.
Customers can also communicate with Accolade through secure messages on an app. That app also gives customers the ability to look up their medical records and benefit information.
Singh says Accolade gives businesses access to data and analytics that show what services their employees like to use, and how chronically ill patients interact with the health system. It has that information because more than 70 percent of people with access to Accolade use it.
Singh said most services get less than 10 percent engagement. That level of engagement allows Accolade to personalize the experience for every individual and every company using its platform.
“You have to understand the person’s whole life before you can help them with their clinical needs,” Singh said.