Paging Dr. Google: What is this rash on my leg? Is this scabies? (What are scabies?) Did I get them from the elliptical at the gym? (Jk, I haven't been to the gym in months.)
Dr. Google can’t answer these questions—at least not all of them. But a real doctor in HealthTap’s network can. And now HealthTap is about to up the ante. The company announced Wednesday that it has raised $24 million in a Series B round led by Khosla Ventures, with help from existing investors Mayfield Fund and Mohr Davidow Ventures. Khosla partner Keith Rabois will join HealthTap’s board of directors, and Vinod Khosla will join as an advisor.
The new round brings HealthTap’s total raised to $37.9 million, following its $11.5 million Series A round in December 2011.
The platform has seen some startling growth, now with an average of eight million unique visitors per month and 1.2 million registered users. In the past year, the company has nearly quadrupled the number of doctors in its network to more than 38,000. And that’s up from 30,000 just last November.
CEO Ron Gutman says the company's decision to raise capital now is three-pronged:
"Because of the tremendous growth we've experienced since we launched our Mobile Health Platform (both on the user front, and on the doctor front), and the fast pace in which we're releasing software, our current team is overloaded," said Gutman. "Combine this with a very ambitious and innovative roadmap - and you get a real need for more great people to sustain and accelerate the growth and continue to improve on our products and services."
In addition to hiring, Gutman says that since launching APIs to the platform, the company has received thousands of requests from potential partners, including individual app developers as well as large companies and organizations. But HealthTap didn't have the bandwidth to deal with the demand, so the financing will be used to manage growth.
And finally: Obamacare. In eight months, an additional 30-40 million Americans will enter the healthcare system.
"HealthTap is uniquely positioned to be a very important player in facilitating easier, faster, and much less expensive access to quality care for people using their mobile devices. To prepare for that, we need to focus some of our efforts to enhance our platform to serve even more efficiently and cost effectively," said Gutman.
Over 80% of Web users have admitted to looking for health information online. And many of those are turning to family, friends, and online communities for help. One Pew study found that more than one third of adult Internet users have gone online to read a blog or commentary on someone else’s health experiences. Some 18% have gone online to look for others with the same illness or health concerns. Additionally, 23% of Internet users say they’ve followed a friend’s health experience via a social networking site like Facebook, and 11% have posted health-related questions or comments on a social networking site.
"In its current state, our healthcare system is expensive, difficult to access, and error prone," said Vinod Khosla, in a statement. “The future of healthcare is at the confluence of big data, smart algorithms, and simple-to-use interfaces that will provide amplification of our MD's resources: HealthTap is breaking ground in all three, and we're excited to help them make their compelling vision a transformative reality."
The company plans to use the new capital from this round to acquire more talent, expand its Web and mobile offerings, and accelerate growth.
"Everyone will soon become the CEO of their own health," said Keith Rabois, in a statement. "HealthTap, with its phenomenal growth in combination with its unique technology, has the potential to become the triaging platform for everyone's health."
The new round of funding comes six months after HealthTap made its first acquisition of Avvo Health, the health division of the popular Q&A site.