Alphabet's venture arm leads $27M funding for digital medical marketplace

Sesame, a direct-pay digital healthcare marketplace, has raised $27 million in series B funding led by GV, Alphabet's venture capital arm.

Sesame's platform enables uninsured and underinsured patients to research and shop for physicians by price and book in-person or telehealth appointments for a variety of specialties, paying by cash or via a monthly fee. Visits average less than $40 apiece and start as low as $25, the company said.

The startup said it will use the funding to transition its monthly subscription model from beta to general availability.

"Sesame provides greater access to healthcare for a meaningful percentage of the population, and we're inspired by the company's mission to drive better patient outcomes for underserved communities," said Cathy Friedman, executive venture partner at GV, in a June 14 Sesame news release. "Sesame presents a compelling opportunity to develop a dynamic marketplace at a scale unlike any in the current U.S. healthcare ecosystem."

The company was founded in 2018 by David Goldhill, who authored The Real Costs of American Health Care and a 2009 Atlantic article, "How American Health Care Killed my Father." Mr. Goldhill is chair of healthcare watchdog the Leapfrog Group.

The investment brings Sesame's total funding to $75 million, according to Crunchbase. Other investors include Virgin Group and General Catalyst.

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