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The company uses AI and augmented reality to allow employees to try on glasses as home
Vision care is important, yet having it covered has often required a person to have separate insurance provided by their employer. It's a system that doesn't seem to work well for anyone: there were approximately 93 million adults in the US who were at high risk for vision loss in 2017, and yet about 40% did not see an eye doctor or receive an eye exam in the previous year. Among adults who reported needing eyeglasses, more than 8 million said they could not afford them.
XP Health's solution to that problem is using artificial intelligence to help employers provide cheaper vision benefits platform for their employees and their families.
On Wednesday, the company announced a $17.1 million Series A round led by HC9 Ventures, Valor Capital Group and ManchesterStory. Additional investors include Canvas Ventures, CameronVC, Core Innovation Capital, GSR Ventures, and Plug and Play, as well as angels like Ken Goulet (former EVP Anthem), Kevin Hill (former regional CEO United Healthcare), Jeff Epstein (CFO of Oracle, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners) and Brett Rochkind (former managing partner General Atlantic).
This follows the company's $5 million funding round in the beginning of 2021.
"XP Health has seen tremendous growth since our last fundraise: we’ve integrated our own supply chain in order to further lower costs by removing the middlemen that adds significant markups throughout the process. We are positioning ourselves as the go-to solution for employers and insurance carriers to offer both eye exams and eyewear to people," Antonio Moraes, co-founder and CEO of XP Health, told VatorNews.
"We’ve expanded our leadership roster with seasoned industry veterans from leading insurance and vision care organizations to accelerate its mission to democratize access to high-quality experiences in vision care. We brought onboard Swen Carlson as VP of Operations and new strategic advisors Kevin Hill, the former Regional CEO of UnitedHealth, and Ken Goulet, former EVP of Anthem."
Founded in 2018, XP Health has two plans that employers can offer: one is the XP Virtual Vision Care, which is meant to enhance existing plans by giving employees access to its artificial intelligence powered platform that enables them to get personalized recommendations for eyewear.
The company uses AI and augmented reality so that employees no longer have to go to a physical store to buy glasses, providing them with a 100 percent digital experience for vision care from home. It also provides personal stylists, who are assigned and dedicated to each employer and who help them try-on up to six pairs of frames from some of the world's leading designers, including Tom Ford, Ray-Ban, Armani, Gucci, and Coach, with a prepaid return label included.
XP also offers the XP Total Vision Care, which is meant to replace existing plans; it allows employees to take an online vision acuity test to renew their prescription online, and also to schedule and get an in-person eye exam.
All employees on either plan get three benefit credits per year: for eyeglasses, non-Rx glasses (computer and sunglasses), and contacts.
Because it's able to cut out the middleman, XP says has been able to cut employer eyewear claim costs by 40%, and reduce employee out-of-pocket costs by 80%, with a cost savings of nearly $200 per pair versus traditional insurance.
When XP last raised funding it had 30 clients; that number has now grown to 1,500, including companies like Docusign, Chegg, Navistar, Sequoia Consulting, and strategic partners Guardian Life Insurance and The Health Benefit Alliance. In all, XP Health now covers more than 250,000 people and the company has seen its revenue grow by 9,300% in that time frame, while also tripling vision benefits coverage.
The driving force of that growth, Moraes explained, "is the necessity of high-quality vision services that are seamless, easy, and enjoyable."
"XP Health members love their experience resulting in us earning a high net promoter score of 72. We’ve also been flexible with customers and work to find where we can add the most value to them and end users, whether that’s eyewear only or both eyewear and exams," he said.
"XP Health has secured partnerships with leading employer and healthcare clients to roll out the XP Health vision benefit by providing marketing communications for program introduction, enrollment, promotions, and ongoing engagement."
This new capital will be used to continue to provide a "stellar consumer experience," Moraes said, with the aim of reaching 1 million users by year's end, and 10 million users by 2025.
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