Eren Bali, CEO of Carbon Health, talks new funding round and evolution of healthcare

Steven Loeb · June 6, 2019 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/4e21

The company announced a $30M funding round earlier this week

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One of the most interesting, and exciting, changes to the healthcare system in recent years revolves around the changes in how people are able to get access to care, thanks to the rise in telemedicine services, along with a number of companies establishing their own clinics. That includes companies both big, like Humana, CVS, Apple and Walmart, and still up-and-coming, like Cityblock, Solv, Heal and Tia. The days of people needing to always go to a doctor's office for treatment seem to be coming to an end.

Another of those startups facilitating that change is Carbon Health, a platform that combines a mobile app with a network of doctors and clinics. On Wednesday, the company announced that it raised a $30 funding in venture funding in a round led by Brookfield Growth Partners.

The round also included new investors DCVC and founders from Flatiron Health and Clover Health, as well as continued support from existing investors, including Builders VC, Bullpen Capital, Javelin Venture Partners and Two Sigma Ventures. With this latest funding , Carbon Health has now raised over $40 million.

With the Carbon Health app, patients can manage appointments, billing, pharmacy refills and lab results from their phone. They can also talk with doctors and staff for quick answers to their questions.

In October, the company merged with the Direct Urgent Care network to open seven brick-and-mortar clinics caring for 40,000 active patients. Carbon now has clinics in Mountain View, Cupertino, Oakland, Berkeley, Vacaville and San Francisco and it says it will use the new funding to expand its clinics into retail spaces outside of California and, over the next decade, expand all across the country. 

In addition to the funding, it was also announced that Josh Raffaelli, Managing Director at Brookfield Growth Partners, has joined the Board of Directors at Carbon Health.

Eren Bali, CEO and co-founder of Carbon Health, spoke to VatorNews about the new funding round, how he sees healthcare evolving and how Carbon will help it get there. 

VatorNews: What is the problem that you have identified and how are you solving it with Carbon Health?

Eren Bali: Simply put, healthcare in the US is too costly and too many consumers are unsatisfied with their options. Carbon Health delivers world-class access points to patients without additional fees while offering services like instant care to significantly reduce the cost for some lower acuity needs.

In the near term, you will see Carbon Health expand its services to make care more convenient and accessible to consumers. This will include women’s health, pediatrics, and dermatology. We will also begin engaging patients with more proactive and preventative care touchpoints in the near future.

VN: Who is the typical customer for Carbon Health? Walk me through some typical use cases.

EB: We partner with a number of health systems and hospitals, including NorthBay Healthcare and El Camino Health to extend their ambulatory reach and improve patient accessibility.

VN: What kind of ROI have you been able to calculate? Do you have hard numbers you can share?

EB: We cannot share any specific numbers currently but since inception, the company has served over 100,000 patients and completed more than 200,000 appointments.

VN: What states/markets are you looking to expand to next? Why those in particular?

EB: With 30 million Americans living in underserved areas that lack basic access to healthcare services, we want to expand clinics into retail spaces outside of California and continue on our mission to make world-class healthcare accessible for everyone.

Carbon Health has done site selection in five new markets including, New York, New Jersey, Nevada, and Southern California. It is in active conversation with partners in all of these markets and is looking to expand in the next 12 months. In addition, all of these clinics will have Carbon Health branding. Our goal is to service areas where world-class healthcare isn’t easily available to those in need.

VN: What will Josh Raffaelli bring to the company as a member of the board of directors?

EB: Josh has been an amazing partner to Carbon and in many ways was a perfect fit to help extend our impact across the country. His experience with real-world products as an investor at SpaceX and Tesla was immediately clear which is important as we are also not just a software platform. These insights paired with the real asset investing mindset of Brookfield have already improved our growth initiatives as we push to scale our services across the country.  

VN: Who are your competitors? What separates Carbon Health from them?

EB: What sets us apart from our competitors is our belief that world-class care should be available for everyone. As a result, we are building Carbon Health to be available to the masses, without costly membership fees. We have also built our own technology from the ground up to create a new healthcare system end-to-end rather than layering on existing technology.

VN: How have you seen the health tech space evolve in recent years, especially when it comes to how care is delivered? What is your vision for where it’s going and how will Carbon Health help it get there?

EB: In many ways, healthcare has been burdened by the lack of interoperability and patchwork design. By developing Carbon with a unified technology platform we have been able to reduce the complexity of the ecosystem for patients and providers. Our vision is to use this simplicity to drive automation throughout the care continuum and drive clinical efficiency, so care providers can focus on work that improves patient experience and clinical outcomes. This will manifest in a simpler interface for consumers but also allow us to manage more of a person’s healthcare journey as the landscape shifts more to a value-based payment environment.

VN: What is your ultimate goal with Carbon Health? Where do you want to see the company in the next 5 years?

EB: My ultimate goal with Carbon Health is to make world-class healthcare easily available to everyone.

As a company, we currently have around 125 to 150 employees at the moment and plan to more than double this number over the next 12 months, as we expand our footprint. Additionally, we plan to bring our clinics to patients all across the United States over the next decade.

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