Digital Health

Sesame Secures $27M for Healthcare Marketplace


Direct-to-consumer healthcare has attracted a lot of investor attention over the past few months, and Sesame recently continued the trend by raising $27M in Series B funding to help it become the “Expedia for medical care.”

Sesame is a two-sided marketplace for providers and patients. It allows users to quickly compare physicians with an interface that’s fine-tuned to make booking an appointment as frictionless as possible. Here’s a look at the layout.

  • There are over 2.5k providers on the marketplace offering primary care, chronic condition management, and over 40 specialties – with an average visit cost of under $40. Sesame claims that it is able to lower the cost of care by cutting out the bureaucracy that comes with working with payors.
  • Providers can leverage the platform to offer dynamic pricing based on peak windows, then patients can filter the list to match their needs. Since launching in mid-2020, more than 150k patients have used the platform, and Sesame reports that its revenue has grown nearly 500% year-over-year.

The Series B round brings Sesame’s total raise to $75M and will fund the commercial launch of its Sesame Plus membership product, which has been in beta since November 2021.

  • For $99 per year, Sesame Plus members get $20 off all telehealth / primary care visits and $30 off in-person specialist appointments, as well as other benefits geared toward supporting the 40% of Sesame patients not covered by a health plan.
  • Unlike most other subscription telehealth services, Sesame does not require a membership to book appointments, but the Sesame Plus incentives led to beta members booking 33% more appointments than other patients.

The Takeaway
Sesame isn’t the only company offering affordable direct-to-consumer healthcare (K Health and Teladoc both play in this space), but the marketplace’s dynamic pricing and wide variety of specialists are important differentiators that will only help more as the company scales. Transparency, affordability, and usability also seem like solid pillars to build a marketplace around, and Sesame’s recent growth suggests that the strategy is resonating with users.

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