The global pandemic highlighted inefficiencies and inconsistencies in health systems around the world. Even Co-founders Mayank Banerjee, Matilde Giglio and Alessandro Ialongo say that nowhere is this more evident than in India, especially after the The death toll from COVID reached 4 million this week.
The Bangalore-based company received a new cash injection of $ 5 million in seed funding in a round led by Khosla Ventures, with participation from Founders Fund, Lachy Groom, and a group of individuals, including the CEO of Palo Alto Networks, Nikesh Arora, CRED CEO Kunal Shah, Zerodha Founder Nithin Kamath, and DST Global Partner Tom Stafford.
Even a healthcare membership company aims to cover what most insurance companies in the country don’t cover, including making going to a primary care doctor as easy and affordable as in other countries.
Banerjee grew up in India and said the country is similar to the United States in that it has private and government-run hospitals. Where the two differ is that private health insurance is a relatively new concept for India, he told TechCrunch. He estimates that less than 5% of people have it, and although people are paying for insurance, it mainly covers accidents and emergencies.
This means routine primary care visits, tests and scans outside of this are not covered. And the policies are so confusing that many people don’t realize they’re not covered until it’s too late. That has led to people asking doctors to admit them to the hospital to have their bills covered, Ialongo added.
Banerjee and Giglio were running another startup together when they began to see how complicated health insurance policies were. About 50 million Indians fall below the poverty line each year and many cannot pay their health care bills, Banerjee said.
They began investigating the insurance industry and spoke to hospital executives about the claims. They found that one of the biggest problems was incentive misalignment: hospitals overcharged and over-treated patients. Instead, Even is taking a similar approach to Kaiser Permanente in that the company will act as a service provider and therefore can reduce the cost of care.
It even went live in February and launched in June. It is gearing up for launch in the fourth quarter of this year with more than 5,000 people on the waiting list so far. Your health membership product will cost about $ 200 per year for an 18- to 35-year-old and covers it all: unlimited primary care doctor visits, diagnostics, and scans. Membership will also continue as the person ages, Ialongo said.
The founders intend to use the new funding to build their operational team, product and integration with hospitals. They are already working with 100 hospitals and secured a partnership with Narayana Hospital to deliver more than 2,000 COVID vaccines so far, and more in a second round.
“It’s going to take a while to scale,” Banerjee said. “For us, in theory, as we get better prices, we will end up being cheaper than others. We have goals to cover the people that the government cannot and find ways to reduce the statistics. “