Our investment in River
We are excited to announce that Matchstick Ventures Fund II has completed an investment in River Health. River is an affordable monthly subscription service providing everyday health and wellness care for self-employed people, small business employees, and millennials.
Most Americans work for a small business or are self-employed and therefore many can’t afford or don’t have access to the type of regular healthcare needed to keep themselves, their families, and their communities safe. Especially young people: over 45 million are underinsured. As economic inequality has continued to grow, this massive health access gap has gotten even more severe—and that was all before a pandemic hit.
Freelancers and other self-employed people, lacking the resources and bargaining power of large organizations, burn through valuable time and money battling rising costs, confusing legal-ese, and high deductible plans that leave them mostly paying for care out of pocket. Even those who do have healthcare from their employers can be left with unexpected bills, patchy benefits, and bureaucratic hurdles just to handle the basics. Insurance can feel mismatched for the moment. It’s confusing, expensive, narrowly defined, and inefficient, a poor fit for a world where millenials have a broader definition of health (think yoga and meditation), and expect streamlined, cheap, digital-first platforms for everything from online shopping to transportation.
In the face of these disparities, River wants to cut the clutter and the costs, but not the care. For $30 a month, River users get easy, cheap access to the kind of regular services that make up much of our yearly healthcare needs, including doctor visits, prescriptions, urgent care, sexual and reproductive health, as well as help getting COVID-19 testing. There are no hidden fees or copays. The first doctor’s visit of the year is free, and the rest are $99 each. In addition to in-person services, River also includes a suite of digital options, from text conversations with doctors, to wellness care via the Headspace meditation app, to AI-powered nutrition advice.
River was part of the UnitedHealthcare Accelerator Powered by Techstars accelerator in 2019, where it connected with a wide variety of trusted partners and mentors across the country. It has successful collaborations with Headspace, CVS MinuteClinics, and CityDoc, and will soon be in Dallas, Minneapolis, New York, Chicago, and LA. River plans to continue expanding geographically, as well as into new services like at-home birth control delivery, all in pursuit of a more just, simple health system that young, healthy people can actually be a part of.
Ryan first met River's founders, CEO Kobby Amoah and CMO Charles Kunene, while mentoring them during the UnitedHealthcare Techstars program, and has maintained close ties with them ever since. Kobby comes from a healthcare finance background, while Charles has worked on developing healthcare products for hospitals. This gives them a solid understanding of what it takes to build new kinds of health systems that will last.
Learn more at:http://helloriver.com