Julia Cheek got the idea for her healthcare technology startup after having a bad experience with diagnostic testing.
After spending $2,000 out-of-pocket for specialty testing, the results were confusing, and Cheek decided to create a better process, with lower testing costs and easy-to-read results.
In 2015, she founded EverlyWell, which now offers 12 at-home tests including thyroid, metabolism, sexual health, men’s health and cholesterol and lipids testing. The company sells the tests in 46 states.
Now the Austin-based company has closed on an additional $2 million to expand its business.
The new money brings the total Everlywell has raised to $5 million. The new round was led by NextGen Venture Partners with Jack Novak, SoGal Ventures and Full Tilt Capital also contributing.
All testing is done without a lab or doctor’s office. Consumers buy the kits from the company online, complete the tests and mail them back. The tests use either saliva, urine or a pinprick of dried blood.
The tests are processed in a certified lab, with results transmitted to the consumer electronically in days.
“Our vision is to make healthcare services like lab testing accessible, simple and meaningful for consumers,” Cheek said. “We’re leading a major shift in the consumer health marketplace by bringing the lab to consumer’s doorsteps, and we are moving quickly to expand our channels.”
Costs for the tests range from $69 for a testosterone test to $79 for a Vitamin D test and $399 for a women’s health and fertility test.
EverlyWell got off the ground using a $500,000 convertible note from an angel investor. Then the company received funding from a group of private investors led by Novak, who is based in Dallas and founded the First Choice Emergency Room, a firm that operates freestanding emergency rooms.
Cheek started the company in Dallas and moved it to Austin in March 2016 to tap into the startup community and tech talent pool.
The additional funding will allow the 15-person company to expand its suite of tests, hire leadership positions, launch new partnerships and enhance product features this year.
“Amid uncertainty in the healthcare landscape, people are taking control and becoming proactive and informed healthcare consumers,” said Lisa Cuesta, vice president of NextGen Venture Partners. “Julia Cheek and EverlyWell have reimagined the lab testing experience -- providing customers an affordable, convenient, personalized solution.”
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