A year and a half ago, we founded Walnut to increase access to affordable care for every American. Now, less than a year after launching, we help hundreds of patients afford millions of dollars worth of care every month. Today, we’re excited to announce our $110 million Series A led by Gradient Ventures. This round allows us to truly double down on our mission by expanding our product and team to new geographies and specialties within healthcare. With this round, we’re continuing to execute on our promise to revolutionize how patients pay for healthcare.
Paying for healthcare in the US is completely broken: it makes absolutely no sense that to get the care that they need, millions of Americans every year are forced to declare bankruptcy. Many Americans are forced to choose between paying for rent or getting the care they desperately need. Here’s a truly staggering figure: over half of the country has medical debt. Over 60 million Americans skip care every year due to worries about cost. We’re on a mission to change this number to zero.
About our Series A Round
Walnut raised $110M in a Series A round led by Gradient Ventures with strong participation from new and existing investors including Newark Ventures, Afore Capital, 2048 Ventures, CityRock Ventures, AngelList, Weekend Fund, Company Ventures, Banana Capital, Goodwater Capital, and Muse Capital. Founders and executives from Teachable, Clearbit, and Afterpay also participated. The round is composed of $10M in equity financing and $100M in debt financing; the debt portion of the round was provided by Clear Haven Capital.
What we are building at Walnut
At Walnut, our mission is to increase access to affordable healthcare. We do that through a simple, honest, transparent, and ethical fintech product that helps patients afford care whenever they incur out-of-pocket costs by enabling them to spread costs over time — the best part is that there are no fees or interest to patients. Being able to provide a valuable service without acting as an inflationary force on the cost of healthcare is a core part of our offering. We typically describe this as “buy-now-pay-later” for healthcare. By enabling patients to pay in monthly installments, we alleviate the financial burden for our patients to help them afford and access the care they need.
On the flip side, we help healthcare providers capture more revenue by removing price as a barrier for their patients. We also speed up their revenue cycle and increase collection rates, all while increasing patient satisfaction. Our goal is to create a win-win by aligning incentives across stakeholders. Today, many patients who truly need access to financing are denied by traditional lenders or credit card providers. Walnut is building a machine-learning algorithm that looks at thousands of data points on each patient in real-time to be able to approve patients that others are overlooking. Walnut is expanding access to financial services to those that need it most and have been underserved by the current system.
Who are Walnut’s customers
We currently serve many different specialties within healthcare including behavioral health, dermatology, orthodontics, cosmetic surgery, orthodontics, fertility, and primary care for example. Our patients are able to go directly to their healthcare providers and when the time to pay arrives, Walnut is seamlessly integrated and embedded into the checkout process, whether that’s online or offline – no separate app or action is required by the patient or healthcare provider. This ease, simplicity, and convenience is a major reason why healthcare providers choose to offer Walnut and why patients like to pay via Walnut. We’ve seen rapid adoption from digital health companies who wish to offer more patient-friendly payment experiences and want a technology-driven solution that can be embedded seamlessly into their existing software and user experience.
Walnut’s vision for the future
Today, Walnut serves over 50 healthcare providers in almost a dozen specialties within healthcare. Our vision is to be everywhere in healthcare: no matter where you are in the healthcare system, whether you’re getting a teeth cleaning, an annual checkup, or are visiting your local hospital, Walnut will offer a better way to pay for your care.
What’s next for Walnut
Today we work primarily with healthcare providers but are placing a major focus on partnerships with insurance companies, employers, EHR systems, billing platforms, and other stakeholders in healthcare to accelerate our adoption across the healthcare ecosystem. To do this, we’ll be expanding our team from 15 today to nearly triple that by the end of 2022. We’re also investing heavily in our product to create more delightful experiences for our patients as well as improve our underwriting models to approve more patients.