Health technology firm started by Dallas native lands $175 million investment to expand

Austin-based health technology company Everlywell has raised $175 million to expand its digital health offerings and its workforce.

Everlywell was founded by Dallas native Julia Cheek in 2015, and the company moved to Austin in 2016.

Everlywell focuses on home health care diagnostics, including at-home tests for food sensitivity, allergies, thyroids, hormones and vitamins. The company also has received authorization for an at-home test kit for COVID-19.

New investors in the financing round include funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, the Chernin Group, Foresite Capital, Greenspring Associates, Lux Capital, Morningside Ventures, and Portfolia, as well as existing investors Goodwater Capital, Highland Capital Partners and Next Coast Ventures.

This investment brings the total capital raised by the company to more than $250 million.

“The pandemic has shed light on the challenges of lab testing for Americans, from unknown costs to confusion and inconvenience,” Cheek said. “We’ve been empowering people with a new way to get tested for five years and will continue to lead the way in a rapidly expanding space.”

The company will use the funding to expand its virtual care offerings, expand its testing and infrastructure, ramp up clinical research and grow its presence in the at-home testing market.

“We believe lab testing will be rapid, simple, and coupled with virtual care in the near future,” Cheek said. “This partnership with additional world-class investors enables us to build a transformative, multi-generational digital health company that puts people first — where they belong.”

The investment will also allow the company to expand its headcount. Everlywell had 90 employees pre-pandemic and now has 254. It has 40 open positions, including roles in research, clinical science, engineering, marketing and sales.

Julia Cheek
Julia Cheek(EverlyWell)

In 2021, Everlywell plans to grow its team to as many as 400 employees, the company said.

Over the past four years, more than one million people have used Everlywell’s tests and digital platform. The company does not disclose financial information, but said it expects sales to more than triple in 2020 from the year before.

Sales of most of the company’s tests will grow more than 100% year-over-year, aided in part by its retail expansion to more than 10,000 locations at Target, Walgreens, CVS and Kroger nationwide.

In May, Everlywell received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for its COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit.

Everlywell’s kit is authorized to be used by people at home who have been screened using an online questionnaire that is reviewed by a health care provider.

Also this year, Everlywell closed more than 100 deals with workplaces, universities, clinics and government offices to provide preventative care, clinical research, and workforce testing.

The Everlywell investment ranks among the biggest deals of 2020 for Austin-area companies. Other major local funding deals this year include biopharma company Shattuck Labs, which raised $118 million; edge computing company Vapor IO ($90 million); real estate tech firm Ojo Labs ($62.5 million); legal technology company Disco ($60 million); business software maker ZenBusiness ($55 million) and live streaming technology firm Restream ($50 million).

Lori Hawkins, Austin American-Statesman (TNS)

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