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Walnut, the BNPL of healthcare secures $110M to make medical bills more flexible to pay

Walnut Founders Roshan Patel & Yash Joshi
Image credits: Walnut

The point-of-sale (PoS) lending platform aiming to make healthcare affordable for patients in the US just recently concluded its Series A funding round scooping $110M. Led by Gradient Ventures, this round will allow Walnut to truly double down on its mission by expanding its BNPL product and team to new geographies and specialities within healthcare.

The offering comprises $10M in equity financing and $100M in debt financing provided by Clear Haven Capital. Other participants included new & existing investors Newark Ventures, Afore Capital, Weekend Fund, CityRock Ventures, 2048 Ventures, AngelList, Company Ventures, Banana Capital, Goodwater Capital, and Muse Capital. Executives alongside Founders from Afterpay, Teachable and Clearbit also participated.

‍Revolutionising how patients pay for healthcare in the US

The US healthcare system is completely broken, featuring millions of Americans each year being forced to declare bankruptcy for access to these services. Already many Americans are being forced to choose between paying rent and getting the healthcare desperately need. A shocking statistic testifying to this issue is that over 50% of the country is in medical debt. Over 60M Americans are resorting to skipping healthcare every year due to concerns about cost.

Walnut is working hard to increase access to affordable healthcare. The startup’s core offering is a simple, honest, transparent and ethical fintech product that helps patients afford care whenever they incur out-of-pocket costs. The platform enables patients to spread costs over time without fees or interest to patients. The ability to provide a valuable service without acting as an inflationary force on the cost of healthcare is a core part of its offering. This healthcare buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) offering is greatly alleviating the financial burden.

The setup has been beneficial to healthcare providers, availing more revenue for them by removing price as a barrier for its patients. It also speeds up providers’ revenue cycle and increases collection rates, all while achieving high patient satisfaction. The arrangement is a win-win for its stakeholders.

Patients in need of financing yet denied by traditional lenders or credit card providers will benefit from Walnut’s ML algorithm which is still being built. When completed, it promises to examine multitudes of data points on each patient in real-time to be able to approve patients that others are overlooking. The New York-based healthcare BNPL hopes to expand access to financial services to those in need of it the most who have been underserved by the current system.

Walnut’s patients go directly to their healthcare providers and pay via the checkout process within which Walnut is seamlessly integrated and embedded into both online & offline incidences.No separate apps or actions are required by patients or healthcare providers. This simplicity and convenience is a major reason why healthcare providers choose to offer Walnut and why patients prefer checking out via Walnut. Digital health companies who wish to offer more patient-friendly payment experiences and require tech-driven solutions that are seamlessly embedded into their software & UX increasingly prefer Walnut.

What’s next for Walnut?

Co-founded in 2020 by Roshan Patel and Yash Joshi, the startup has grown fast to serving over 50 healthcare providers in almost a dozen specialities within healthcare. Presently, the startup primarily works with healthcare providers but is placing a major focus on partnerships with employers, insurance companies, EHR systems, billing platforms and other healthcare stakeholders to accelerate its adoption across the healthcare ecosystem.

The Brooklyn-based startup will be expanding its team from 15 to nearly triple that by year-end 2022. The team is also investing heavily in its product to create more delightful experiences for its patients as well as to improve its underwriting models to approve more patients.

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