Alternative and holistic healthcare seekers in the Los Angeles area have a new service they can turn to in WellSet, the listing platform that launched on Tuesday.
Through the service, customers coming off the company's existing waitlist can access its marketplace for finding acupuncturists, massage therapists, functional medicine practitioners, craniosacral therapists, nutritionists, life coaches and holistic therapists.
WellSet will serve up practitioners based on a users' health concerns, as well as the price, location and type of practice on offer.
The company takes a 30% referral fee for its first booking and a 3% booking fee for future appointments booked through its platform. It also provides backend services like intake form management, insurance management and other logistical offerings, according to co-founder Tegan Bukowski.
Co-founder Sky Meltzer and Bukowski began working on the company two-and-a-half years ago, according to Bukowski. A former Yale-educated architect who worked for the starchitect Zaha Hadid, Bukowski founded the company because of her own experience with the healthcare industry. While in school she suffered through frequent trips to the hospital for what was an undiagnosed "mystery illness," which she eventually treated holistically.
For the first 10,000 people to sign up for the company's waitlist, WellSet is offering a $20 credit for the first session booked on the platform, once WellSet launches in their city.
So far the company has roughly 7,000 practitioners on the service and enough providers to launch in at least five major markets. Its deliberate rollout strategy will see the company opening its virtual doors in New York and San Francisco in the coming months.
The Los Angeles-based company was founded by Bukowski, who serves as co-founder and chief executive officer. Meltzer, the company's executive chairman and co-founder, was the former chief executive of the yoga company Manduka. Rounding out the team is Hanna Madrigan, a former Pinterest employee who now serves as the chief operating officer.
The company is backed by investors including Kleiner Perkins, Broadway Angels (a female-focused Silicon Valley investment firm) and Kelly Noonan Gores, writer, producer and director of the documentary "Heal."
There's a small holistic healing community growing in Los Angeles. Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop is by far the best funded of these new companies, but startups like Kensho Health are making their presence felt, as well.
Increasingly, holistic healing and functional medicine are seen as viable options for certain types of chronic conditions. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid recently added acupuncture as a reimbursable treatment -- opening the door to the possibility that other conditions may be covered by the government and private insurers.