Here’s an exclusive look at the pitch deck that Y Combinator alum Opkit, a health insurance verification startup, used to raise funding from investors like Plaid CEO Zach Perret’s VC firm
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- Opkit is a startup that helps telehealth companies verify and process patient health insurance.
- The founders were early employees at Brex and went through Y Combinator’s spring 2021 batch.
- Now, the company has raised over $1 million from YC and investors like Rex Salisbury.
Software engineers Sherwood Callaway and Justin Ko first met as early employees at the fintech startup Brex and became fast friends. And when Brex announced plans to open up a New York office, the two jumped at the opportunity in October 2019.
But only a few months later, the pandemic shut down the city, and Callaway and Ko spent a lot more time working from home in the Williamsburg apartment they shared. After a year of remote work together, they were both ready to try building something new. “Justin and I both were interested in starting a startup together and thought, ‘what better of a time?'” Callaway said.
When coming up with ideas, Callaway recalled a problem that he had seen his father, an orthopedic surgeon in North Carolina, struggle with a lot in his business operations: health insurance verification.
As more telehealth companies were popping up after the pandemic, they often had issues with quickly processing patient health insurance for care, Callaway told Insider. While most brick and mortar healthcare providers only deal with a handful of insurance companies and plans, telehealth startups would have to process insurance information from dozens of providers across all 50 states.
Callaway and Ko used their experience with creating credit card and payments verification software at Brex and came up with the initial product that became their startup Opkit.
Opkit’s API automates the process of processing and confirming health insurance coverage for virtual healthcare offices, by digitally scanning patient-uploaded insurance cards to make sure that they’ll be accepted by the provider, along with which types of medical procedures or treatments will be covered.
Opkit also offers providers an insurance dashboard, that allows telehealth employees to perform eligibility checks or inquiries to insurance companies about specific patients’ plans.
Ko and Callaway were accepted into Y Combinator’s summer 2021 cohort. The experience helped the two cofounders learn what details and statistics to include in an investor pitch, and it really helped them get the startup off the ground. “Opkit was our first experience doing venture fundraising, and Y Combinator really helped us make connections with investors,” said Callaway.
The company also caught the eye of Callaway’s longtime mentor and fellow Davidson College-alum and solo venture capitalist Rex Salisbury, who wrote the first check into Opkit.
Now, the team is emerging from stealth with over $1 million in new funding from Global Founders Capital, Plaid CEO Zach Perret’s VC firm Mischief, Socially Financed, and Y Combinator, along with Salisbury’s investment.