WellTok raises $18.7M for social health platform

WellTok is best known for its social health network CafeWell

Financial trends and news by Faith Merino
April 10, 2013
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Getting healthy is all about accountability. That’s why you start off strong on apps like MyFitnessPal and MapMyFitness, and then you slowly fade into the mists as you lose motivation. And then poof—it’s like you were never there…

One social health and fitness network is getting some impressive traction. WellTok, creator of the CafeWell social health platform, announced Wednesday that it has raised $18.7 million in a Series B round that saw participation from Emergence Capital Partners, InterWest Partners and New Enterprise Associates. The new round brings WellTok's total raised to $26 million altogether. 

In addition to the new funding, the company announced that its chairman, Jeff Margolis, will now be stepping into the role of CEO. Margolis previously headed TriZetto and led the company through its IPO.

Launched in 2011, CafeWell goes beyond the usual calorie and exercise trackers that form the foundation of most fitness apps and sites. Health categories are broken down into nutrition, fitness, prevention, and stress, and users can challenge one another in any one of those areas. But since weight loss isn’t the only health goal of most people, there is also a team of medical professionals, coaches, as well as a community to answer questions related to health and disease management. The third component of the site is the reward system. Users who meet certain goals have the chance to win gift cards and discounts. To date, over $200,000 in rewards has been paid out to CafeWell users.

Another big difference between CafeWell and other social health platforms is that it’s designed to cater to health plan managers and employers who sponsor their employees and customers into the network. Users can remain anonymous, so they’re not sharing their health habits with their bosses or insurance providers, while health plan managers and employer groups have a way to engage users in health and wellness activities.

The site currently serves over 10 million users and claims to see engagement rates at over 400% industry average, with health plan members spending an average of 50 minutes per month on the site. One-third of all members participate in over 30 CafeWell activities. CafeWell counts two of the five largest health plan organizations among its customers.

"Jeff is one of the very few proven entrepreneurs who really understands the big picture in healthcare and why previous efforts to engage consumers in health management programs have failed," said Nina Kjellson of InterWest Partners, in a statement.  "He has built a half-billion dollar healthcare I.T. business before, and with the talented team at WellTok, we are excited to help him do it again."



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