Ness, a New York-based fintech startup, which builds credit cards to help people get and stay healthy, has picked up $15.5 million in seed funding. The financing round was led by Will Ventures along with participation from Core Innovation Capital, Accomplice, Digitalis, GFC, Portage, Refactor Capital, Atypical, and RiverPark Ventures.
Also, founders and senior executives from some of the most well known and beloved health and wellness companies, including Sweetgreen, Oura, Mirror, Thrive Market, Whole30, Noom, Quartet Health, Four Sigmatic, GoodRx, Everly Health, Pillpack, Ginger, One Medical, Oscar Health, Forward Health, and Hungryroot participated in the round.
Ness will use the latest round of funding to help grow the product, team, userbase, and commitment to credit and compliance.
“Ultimately, we see credit cards as the best platform for consumers to get health insurance that’ll stick with them for 30 to 40 years, not just 3 to 4,” said Derek Flanzraich, Co-Founder of Ness. “When we can justify investing in long-term health right now, that’ll lead to a healthier society with health plan incentives totally aligned for the first time.”
“We’re thrilled to support Derek and the Ness team on their journey to build a world where everyone can afford to be healthy,” said Brian Reilly, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Will Ventures. “The approach to use credit cards as a wedge into offering a more aligned health insurance solution will reinvent the way we take care of our long-term health.”
Credit cards with unique rewards
Derek Flanzraich (the Founder of Greatist, acquired by Healthline), Christina Gerdes, Katherine Lynch and Kenneth So, the Ness team includes people with experience from ex-Stripe, AmEx, Cityblock, Oscar, SoFi, Uber, and Amazon. It builds a better way to reduce the cost of preventative health and works with the mission to democratise access to health.
The fintech is involved in launching a suite of credit cards to accelerate those rewards and give cardholders exclusive access to unparalleled benefits from their favorite health and wellness brands. Ness plans to offer medical benefits, supplemental insurance, and comprehensive health insurance on top of its credit cards to reward consumers for living healthy with more healthy living, shift their spends for the better, and reduce the cost of wellness care.
The Ness Rewards App allows consumers to earn points for the spending that they are already doing on their health. Eventually, all healthy actions ranging from fitness activity to physician visits will be rewarded. Consumers can redeem these points for offers at wellness brands like Sweetgreen, Thrive Market, Barry’s Bootcamp, and more.
Acquires Wellset Practitioner Network
Besides the funding, Ness has announced the acquisition of WellSet’s 4,000-person nationwide network of practitioners. As a result, consumers will be able to use the points they earn to see experts like health coaches, dieticians, therapists, and doulas, in a first-of-its-kind offering that makes expert health services more accessible.
The unique approach of Ness includes its own wellness framework, developed by Co-Founder & Chief Medical Officer, Christina Gerdes, MD. The wellness framework is used to make decisions on building products and provide health guidance to consumers.