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Health startup raises $11M to offer coupons for caramels

Linkwell Health pulled in $11 million to expand its health platform that brings together insurance plans, brands, and retailers to encourage healthier living.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not only about getting exercise and eating well. Making wise purchasing decisions is also a factor, but consumers often let cost dictate their choices. Linkwell has partnered with twenty-two insurance providers and big name brands to deliver coupons for “better-for-you” products to members of the network. Participating brands include Kellogg’s, Campbell’s, Unilever, Proctor & Gamble, Werther’s Original, Centrum, and Splenda.

While it is a stretch to call some of these brands “better-for-you,” insurance companies, brands, and retailers respond well to the marketing opportunities. The network gives them direct access to 100 million consumers through health plan direct mailings, websites, micro sites, emails, and mobile apps.

This third round of funding will bring additional health plans, brands, and retailers onto the platform. Health benefits company WellPoint led this investment, with participation from existing investors Spark Capital and HLM Venture Partners. Mass.-based Linkwell has raised $27.3 million to date.

The digital health industry grew dramatically last year and a funding report issued by Rock Health indicated that it will continue to thrive. Health consumer engagement represented $237 million in funding in 2012. These types of companies work to strengthen the connection between insurance providers and their consumers.

As many of the 45 to 50 million uninsured consumers get health insurance in 2014, this market will take off and millions more will be able to save money on health-promoting products like artificial sweeteners and caramels. Read the press release.