By: Omar El-Ayat
Why Crosslink Capital Bet on WeRecover to Disrupt America’s Rehab Industry
If you are struggling with an addiction, click here for help: www.werecover.com
If you’re a rehab and want to learn more, click here: demo.werecover.com
At Crosslink, we seek to invest in companies aiming to impact antiquated industries with technology, and we have long felt addiction treatment was a broken market that was failing its customers. Mental health care is prohibitively expensive, access to treatment is artificially constricted by systemic inadequacies, and uncertainty around regulation has stifled meaningful innovation. Even worse, incentivizes between the consumer, payer, and treatment center are all horribly misaligned. The current system is broken and failing us.
Of the 26 million Americans battling addiction, 90% will get no treatment whatsoever, and of those who do, 90% will relapse within 12 months. Sadly, the situation is only getting worse: over 64,000 Americans died from overdoes last year; up from 16,000 in 2010. Drug overdoses have now become the leading cause of death of Americans under 50, and for the first time since the early 1960s, life expectancy in the United States has declined for the second year in a row. The economic cost of the opioid epidemic is now believed to be north of $600B pear year. Human lives are at stake and the crisis shows no signs of slowing down. We believe WeRecover can be part of the solution helping those in need find the addiction treatment they need when they need it.
WeRecover mission is to democratize access to care and bring transparency, choice, competition and options to an opaque industry where even the most informed consumer can struggle to find the right treatment for themselves or a loved one. Transparent and easy access to quality care is needed, and we believe the WeRecover team has the vision, talent and drive necessary to tackle the problem. The founders started the company after being frustrated to find treatment for their loved ones with the simple belief that anyone struggling with an addiction should be able to find help immediately.
WeRecover aims to index and classify every treatment center in the United States capturing relevant data for matching someone to the right center for their needs. After a customer answers a few questions regarding their clinical needs, insurance, and budget, WeRecover’s platform will display treatment centers that match and have current availability. Their simple approach has the capacity to help millions of people find treatment, regardless of quality (or lack) of insurance and income, and their business model is ethical by design.
Unlike other rehab “marketing” services that are incentivized to limit people’s options and sell customer leads to the highest bidder (paid search, online directories, call centers), WeRecover empowers people with choice and transparency. There are no sponsored listings, no modified page rankings, or pay-per-lead charges. Customers get matched with relevant centers based on their data inputs and can self-research on WeRecover or connect directly with a treatment center to learn more. If a customer does connect to a specific center through our platform, WeRecover may a charge a “connection” fee to the treatment center but the matching engine does not influence or direct the consumer towards any specific search result. There will be certain connections the company will not monetize, and most importantly, the service will always be free to consumers.
In an industry that seems to be in an ethical race to the bottom, in which patient brokering, shady call centers and bad actors are rampant, WeRecover can help people find the right treatment for their specific needs. With every person they help, they are systematically gathering highly valuable data for building effective treatment programs. What types of programs are effective for certain population types? What are the success rates of different types of rehab programs? What makes some programs effective and others not? Data that has never been gathered on a macro, industry-wide level, is being systematically aggregated and analyzed by WeRecover – enabling them to not just help people find treatment, but to help people find the right treatment. We think this can be game changing for an industry where patient outcomes can be incredibly hard to measure.
Armed with an approach that has never been tried, an ethical business model, and the ability to build the first dataset on quality of care, we believe WeRecover can not only broaden access to care, but help lead the charge of innovation and progress in the industry. We believe bringing transparency and accountability to the addiction treatment market is a crucial step in helping this country face the opioid crisis. It’s rare to find young, ambitious founders aiming to build a business with such large potential impact, and we are proud and excited to be backing Stephen Estes and Max Jaffe on this journey.