Austin health diagnostics startup EverlyWell raises $2.5 million 

Posted April 21st, 2016

After moving its headquarters from Dallas to Austin in March, startup EverlyWell has raised $2.5 million  to launch its at-home health care diagnostics business.

Founded in 2015, EverlyWell currently offers testing for food sensitivity, women's health and hormones, and elements, which measures potentially toxic levels of metals.

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 and data transmitted to the consumer electronically within days. 

Co-founder and CEO Julia Cheek said she got the idea after having a bad experience with diagnostic testing. After spending $2.000 out-of-pocket for specialty testing, the results were confusing, she said.

"I spent a lot of money and still didn't get the information I needed," Cheek said. "I thought to myself there has to be a better way because diagnostic testing is so important to preventative medicine."

EverlyWell will roll out several new kits, including cardiovascular and metabolism tests, over the next three months. Tests will range in cost $59 from to $399.

"Comparable tests are not usually covered by insurance," Cheek said. "Our goal is to make tests with easy-to-read results and to decrease the cost as much as possible.

Cheek said her experience raising money convinced her to move EverlyWell to Austin.

"There was a clear directive from investors that if we weren't going to be in Silicon Valley, then we needed to be in  Austin," she said. "The startup talent community here is just so strong, and I found there are so many people who have been through successful startups and could provide expertise and help me learn."

EverlyWell received its funding from a group of private investors led by Dr. Jack Novack, who is based in Dallas and founded the First Choice Emergency Room, a Flower Mound-based company that operates freestanding emergency rooms.

The company got off the ground using a $500,000 convertible note from an angel investor.

The new funding will allow the company, which has six employees, to expand marketing and add product development and engineering talent.