Stride Health Raises $13 Million Series A For Its Health Insurance Exchange


San Francisco-based health insurance exchange startup Stride Health has raised a $13 million Series A led by new investor Venrock and with additional support from returning investors Fidelity Biosciences and New Enterprise Associates. The new round closely follows a January 2015 seed round worth $2.4 million, and brings Stride Health’s total funding level to an impressive $15.4 million since its 2013 launch.

Stride Health has taken the same basic principles that went into and other state-run insurance exchanges, and added the much needed usability and innovation that Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are known for. While federal and state exchanges have burned through hundreds of millions of dollars and are still struggling to overcome technical glitches and poor design choices, Stride Health has launched an insurance exchange that operates in seven states, representing 44 percent of the US population. While it takes an average user over one hour to enroll in insurance on, Stride Health has trimmed the process down to between 12-15 minutes.


The genius behind the Stride Health insurance shopping platform lies in a set of predictive algorithms that analyze a user’s age, gender, location, current medications, and illness history to forecast the annual out-of-pocket expenses one would incur on the various insurance plans available. Next, users are able to run “what if” scenarios to further compare plans. For example, users can quickly say “what if I have a baby” or “what if I break a leg” and the algorithms will calculate the total out-of-pocket costs for the user including this added care. To date, no publically-funded insurance shopping platform has offered this level of individualized price comparing between plans. With Stride, users can see whether a higher deductible plan might ultimately be the lower-cost option based on their healthcare utilization history. Further differentiating Stride from public insurance exchanges, the company sticks with its users for the entire year, acting as a benefits manager and negotiating with insurers on behalf of the users. Noah Lang, founder of Stride, explains, “We stick around throughout the year — our team will sit on hold with the insurance company for two hours so you don’t have to.”

With its insurance exchange ramping up smoothly, Stride is targeting new users through partnerships with large freelance networks. Uber recently announced a partnership with Stride to provide its drivers with health insurance options. Other freelance communities like TaskRabbit and Postmates are also Stride Health customers. With a growing network of freelance workers on its platform, Stride is now widening its focus and hopes to provide additional services to the community, including automated premium payment processing, and services that help patients compare the cost of drugs at local pharmacies.

The company will use its new funding to continue its expansion, with the goal of eventually operating in all 50 states.

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