Circle Medical, which acts as a “concierge” for healthcare, announced today that it has raised a $2.9 million seed round, led by Collaborative Fund. The startup says that the new funds will be used to increase brand awareness and market the company.
Other participants in this round include Tencent, Real Ventures, Kima Ventures, Y Combinator partner Paul Buchheit, and YouTube cofounder Jawed Karim. An unidentified AngelList syndicate was responsible for contributing $500,000, which the company is calling “a quick and painless way to top up the round.”
Conceived after the son of one of the cofounders fell ill on a family vacation and the father didn’t know how to get care from an in-network physician, Circle Medical provides patients with a physician for non-urgent care. Instead of emergency services, Circle Medical delivers all the things you typically expect to receive from your physician, such as checkups, flu shots, blood work, and general standard care. Each healthcare professional will bring a medical kit and privacy blinds, and can visit you wherever you are.
In order to use the service, patients scan their insurance card within the Circle Medical app in order to verify their plan and identify the appropriate costs (according to their coverage). Then they pick a date, time, and location and can track the location of their attending physician. The company currently accepts Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, United Healthcare, Aetna, Health Net, and Cigna insurance plans.
As of right now, Circle Medical’s services are only available in San Francisco, California, and operating hours are limited to between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.. Patients pay the same co-pay that they would if they were at their doctor’s office.
The on-demand healthcare market is getting pretty crowded. Some startups, like Doctors on Demand, are utilizing video conferencing to provide diagnosis, while others, like Heal and Pager, are trying to monopolize the concierge model. A key differentiator for Circle Medical, however, is that many on-demand providers are focused on urgent care, rather than offering standard wellness checkups and services.