Early Microsoft engineers and Intelius co-founder Chandan Chauhan are behind a stealthy telehealth startup that just launched its customer-facing product, four years after the company was founded.
Seattle-area startup Clocktree offers a service for patients to find and receive therapy from mental health, relationship, addiction and nutrition counselors. Providers can connect through video and messaging with their patients, and the platform also gives counselors a HIPAA-compliant place to store notes, videos and documents.
Clocktree’s approach to healthcare is informed by its founders’ long history in tech, which dates back to their time at Microsoft in the late 1980s.
“We were in the kernel group of the Windows operating system,” said Chauhan, who leads the company as CEO.
After a 12-year stint at Microsoft, Chauhan helped start Intelius and Talentwise, two Seattle background check companies that sold for an undisclosed sum in 2015 and 2016, respectively. The Intelius deal was rumored to top $100 million.
Clocktree co-founder and CTO David Chalmers wrote the code that brought the control-alt-delete command to Windows. Nanduri Ramakrishna, Clocktree’s CIO, worked with Chauhan on Carpoint, an early car-buying service from Microsoft.
Clocktree this week announced a partnership with the addiction counselor organization NAADAC, whose members can use the service for free up to 10 hours per month.
“Consumerization is happening in all aspects of our lives,” said Chauhan, who sits on health-related boards and councils at the University of Washington. “The same thing is going to happen in healthcare.”
If you’ve ever had trouble finding a therapist, you’re not alone. Chauhan said a central challenge is finding and connecting with therapists.
The CEO thinks patients will increasingly seek out providers on their own, just like shopping online. In order to compete with larger providers, he sees a need among small mental health providers for a service that lets them deliver care remotely.
The reason for the consumer shift is economic. “Increasingly, every year, as consumers we are shouldering more and more of the healthcare burden,” Chauhan said. Healthcare spending now accounts for more than 8 percent of household spending, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Clocktree has raised more than $800,000 to date and is operating off of a mix of self-funding and angel funding.
Rudy Gadre, a longtime angel investor and partner at Seattle-based venture capital firm Founder’s Co-op, is one of Clocktree’s backers. In an email, he said, “Clocktree is well positioned to help healthcare providers expand and enhance access to their client care services using its telehealth platform.” The company hinted that it may soon seek a more formal fundraising round.
Clocktree is free for patients, but it charges $49 to clinics to use the service for up to 100 hours of video per month, with custom pricing above that threshold. Prior to launching the new consumer-facing service, Clocktree first started rolling out a version of the platform to providers in 2017.
Unlike several other telehealth services, such as Doctor on Demand or Teladoc, Clocktree doesn’t employ or contract providers, acting instead as a pure platform to connect the two.