Surveying great inventors and businesses
Axial partners with great founders and inventors. We invest in early-stage life sciences companies such as Appia Bio, Seranova Bio, Delix Therapeutics, Simcha Therapeutics, among others often when they are no more than an idea. We are fanatical about helping the rare inventor who is compelled to build their own enduring business. If you or someone you know has a great idea or company in life sciences, Axial would be excited to get to know you and possibly invest in your vision and company . We are excited to be in business with you - email us at email@example.com
Who leads Stride Health?
Stride Health was founded in 2013 by Noah Lang (CEO) and Matt Butner (CTO). Both founders were obsessed with their fitness; the former has run over 10 marathons. Lang and Butner met while climbing Mount Whitney in California. Lang studied product design at Stanford for college, and worked as a consultant at Navigant and a VP at Reputation.com before starting Stride. Butner majored in computer science at the University of San Francisco and worked in software consulting over a decade helping companies like Netflix and Priceline.
The company was founded to help self-employed individuals find health insurance. Stride built Netflix-like recommendation software to match plans to patients. In the backdrop of the botched launch of Healthcare.gov in 2013 and the growing number of gig economy employees using apps like Uber and Doordash, Stride timed the market almost perfectly.
What does Stride Health do?
Stride allows users to discover insurance plans for health, dental, life and vision. A user goes to Stride to provide a few key personal details like date of birth, medical history, current drug use, annual income, preferred doctors, and zip code and is presented with a series of recommended plans. They can compare and enroll in plans. A key part of Stride’s product is its recommendation algorithms to match a user to the right plan especially since so little information is used as an input. With more users, Stride gets better at forecasting how much a giver user will need to use their insurance and match them to the best plan. Moreover, the company offers tax deduction support for health insurance deductibles in combination with products to manage income/taxes and health saving plans.
This integrated product has several essential components:
Plans across all 50 states
Stride Drive product suite that provides automated tax tracking to self-employed individuals
Software to help users predict out-of-pocket expenses (identified $100Ms in deductions) and navigate insurance plans. Stride also has in person support.
Pre-negotiated drug prices at 10Ks of pharmacies
Users come to Stride for insurance plans but stay for the cost savings and suite of supporting products. As more people become self-employed or contractors, Stride helps them find insurance. With over 2M users, Stride is still barely scratching the service with over 60M independent contracts in the US.
What makes Stride Health unique?
A key component to Stride’s business is its partnerships with corporations that have high amounts of independent contractors. This creates a moat around user onboarding that similar products will find hard to penetrate. Stride works with a wide-range of companies:
Uber - 1M contractors
Postmates - over 100K
Doordash - over 200K
Care.com - 10Ks
TaskRabbit - over 50K
Etsy - around 2M
Instacart - over 150K
Stride also works with other companies like Mastercard, Gap, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Warner Music, Keller William, and more. By getting scale, the company can use the revenue from its plan brokering business and build peripheral products and services for users that historically have been underserved. In the long-run, Stride could end up becoming a human resources platform for independent contractors.
Why I like what Stride Health is doing?
Stride got started at the perfect time, with the rise of the sharing economy, to build a platform for independent contractors to find health insurance. Essentially, Stride got its initial set of users by being a hassle-free Healthcare.gov With a beachhead in healthcare, Stride has expanded to other insurance plans and is positioned to manage insurance and financials of 10Ms gig workers.
The company’s core product is in financial forecasting. The first application was in health insurance plans. And now Stride has expanded to other plan types. With the focus on helping independent contractors, Stride is building an entirely new category in health and financial services for the gig economy. They are the category leader and still have over 50M users to onboard.
You can find Stride Health here.