The Wheel deal: Virtual care startup rolls into $50M series B to grow telehealth software, clinician network

With nearly $70 million in lifetime venture funding under its belt, Wheel isn’t looking to reinvent its eponymous device—just the entire telehealth industry.

The latest addition to that funding pool is a $50 million series B that was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners. Along with its financial support, Lightspeed is sending a senior advisor, Ling Wong, to join Wheel’s board of directors.

The funding round also included participation from past investors CRV, Silverton Partners, Tusk Venture Partners and J.P. Morgan, and new backer Future Shape, a French investment and advisory firm led by iPod inventor Tony Fadell.

The series B comes after Wheel rapidly scaled up its business during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last March, for example, the startup teamed up with lab testing company Imaware to send clinicians on house calls to administer FDA-cleared at-home COVID tests.

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Wheel will use the new funding to grow its all-in-one virtual care platform, which provides plug-and-play software and an established network of trained and credentialed clinicians to companies looking to begin offering telehealth services.

The company will focus on further developing that software, introducing new customers to its platform and adding to its clinician network. The latter grew 450% in 2020, according to Wheel, in tandem with the company’s overall 300% growth for the year, during which it facilitated nearly 500,000 patient visits.

“Imagine being able to pull out your phone and instantly get connected with the best doctor for your care needs. We’re building the technology to make this complex and expensive feat a reality for millions of patients,” said Michelle Davey, Wheel’s CEO and co-founder.

“If we actually want to expand access to healthcare, we need the industry to recognize there’s a better way to reach patients than simply bringing the broken system online. That’s why we’re powering the next generation of healthcare companies and clinicians to make virtual care work for everyone,” Davey added.

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Wheel’s platform targets retailers, labs and medtech and digital health companies. Rather than having to build their own telehealth programs from scratch, these customers can simply install Wheel’s software and customize it around their specific healthcare offerings and patient populations.

The software is accessible via the website and a smartphone app and includes customizable modules for online payments, scheduling, prescribing and more. It’s also equipped with an algorithm that analyzes more than a dozen patient data points to connect them with the most appropriate clinician for their needs.

Once the software is installed, companies are also granted access to Wheel’s network of remote clinicians, which includes urgent and primary care providers, as well as those specializing in pediatrics, diabetes, women’s and men’s health, allergies and more. Wheel manages the hiring, training and credentialing of every physician, nurse practitioner and registered nurse in its network.