Valor Capital led a US$5m seed round in XP Health, a California-based vision benefits platform for US corporate employees, with participation from Village Global, Semper Virens, J-Angels, Stanford’s StartX, and Jeff Epstein (Oracle).
(Press Release) – XP Health, the world’s only artificial intelligence-powered vision benefits platform covering employees and their families, today announced it has raised a total of $5 million in seed round funding led by Valor Capital Group, a Softbank-invested venture capital fund. Valor Capital is backing XP Health to support the company’s growth plans, which include further developing its AI technology and scaling its R&D and engineering teams. Additional investors as part of the XP Health seed round included Semper Virens, Village Global, J-Angels, Stanford StartX, and also notable angel investor Jeff Epstein, former CFO at Oracle.
XP Health brings the world’s only AI-powered vision benefits directly to employees and their family members, making it easier and more affordable for all employees to get frames from the world’s leading designers, and high-quality lenses from the convenience of their homes or offices. By using AI and deep learning, XP Health is able to help companies save their employees up to 90% in eyewear costs per year. XP Health offers a solution that increases a company’s existing vision benefits coverage by an average of 10X. Early XP Health customers include Chegg, Zenefits, and Sequoia Consulting Group. Here is a link to the XP Health demo video.
Even before the current COVID-19 pandemic, which created a global transformation to working from home, vision was already one of the most important benefits. According to an EBRI/Greenwald & Associates Health and Workplace Benefits Survey, vision benefits remained an important factor when contemplating a job change. Additionally, a Vision Council Digital Eye Strain Report found that nearly 90% of Americans use digital devices for two or more hours each day and that 65% of Americans reported having visual discomfort due to a number of contributing factors including the proximity at which we view digital screens to the exposure to high-energy visible (HEV) or blue light. Finally, as it relates to employers’ spending on the vision industry, an IBISWorld report found that since 2010, the market size of the vision insurance industry has increased 33% since 2010, from approximately $30B to $40B in 2020.
And as a tie into social distancing, XP Health provides a 100% digital experience for vision care from the safety of the employees’ home, customized with the company’s brand. XP Health’s user-friendly modern interface makes accessing vision benefits easier and takes the guesswork out of the equation by transparently communicating the remaining benefits. XP Health provides the following, where most vision insurance plans do not cover:
- Employees with 20/20 vision: 40% of the workforce is covered for eyewear;
- UV Protection: recommended by doctors to avoid macular degeneration and cataracts;
- Blue-Light Protection: recommended by doctors to improve sleep and potential harm to the retina;
- Durable Lens: Lens made of polycarbonate not covered;
- Anti-Reflective Coating: Recommended by doctors to reduce eye-strain.
XP Health provides personal stylists who are dedicated to the employer, the ability to try-on up to six pairs of frames, from the world’s leading designers like Tom Ford, Ray-Ban, Armani, Gucci, and Coach, with a prepaid return label included. The company’s proprietary deep learning model uses facial recognition technology that recommends the best frames based on facial dimensions with 98% accuracy.
“Our mission at XP Health is to make vision benefits more affordable for both employers and employees, whether you have or don’t have vision insurance, and whether you wear or don’t wear prescription glasses. By creating an industry-leading technology platform based on AI and deep learning, we are providing the highest quality vision care in the most affordable way to everyone,” said Antonio Moraes, Co-Founder & CEO, XP Health.
Moraes, an impact-driven entrepreneur and investor, ran a successful fund, Vox Capital, that became a Harvard Business School case study and focuses on improving the lives of over one million people through health impact. Moraes co-founded XP Health with Co-Founder and CTO James Wong, an engineering leader who has an extensive machine learning background with 13 accumulated patents during his career at Facebook and Airbnb. Both Moraes and Wong met at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where they discovered a common passion for the vision industry and recognized a better experience for vision benefits that will aid both employers and employees, with the help of AI and deep learning technology.
“We are thrilled to support XP Health and its growth to the entire US territory. Benefits are one of the largest markets in the world but employees still spend so much out of pocket. In the vision space alone, around $17 billion are wasted in premiums that are not used. XP Health has the opportunity to bring vision benefits down for both employees and employers,” says Scott Sobel, Founding Partner at Valor Capital Group.
“At Sequoia, we work with companies looking for the best benefits out there, using technology to unlock their employees’ full potential. We’re proud to have partnered with XP Health to provide the best-in-class vision benefit to our own employees and many of our clients,” said Robby Peters, VP of Business Development at Sequoia Consulting Group.
XP Health Announces Board of Advisors
With today’s announcement, XP Health also announced its list of world-class advisors in vision, benefits, and technology, and they include:
- Ellen Meza, Director, Global Benefits & Mobility, DocuSign
- Yogi Panjabi, former VP, People Technology and Analytics, Palo Alto Networks
- Robert Chang, M.D., Associate Professor of Ophthalmology
- Sharon Lee O.D. U.C. Berkeley School of Optometry alumni
- Dr. Robson Capasso, Associate Professor of Otolaryngology, and Associate Dean Stanford School of Medicine
- Steve Schramm, co-founder Orative (acquired by Oracle)
- Doug Solomon, Chief Legal Officer, RMS, and former SVP, General Counsel at NetSuite
- David Glick, CTO at Flexe, and a former VP of Operations and Fulfilment Technologies at Amazon
“With COVID-19, digital eye strain became one of the many problems for distributed workforces, with employees spending over 8 hours per day in front of screens. This equates to potential harm to workers’ health and wellbeing as well as productivity loss. Traditional vision plans are not innovating at the speed that is needed. XP Health has a powerful solution that gives employees access to high-quality, doctor recommended glasses at reduced out of pocket costs from today’s standard coverage. I believe XP Health will become the new gold standard for vision benefits,” said Ellen Meza, Director, Global Benefits & Mobility at Docusign and XP Health advisor.
About XP Health
XP Health is the world’s only AI-powered vision benefits platform covering employees and their families. XP Health built a vision benefits platform for the modern world, helping companies offer the most competitive benefits at a fraction of the cost while saving employees time and money. XP Health is working with leading companies like Chegg, Zenefits, and Sequoia Consulting Group in helping them increase existing vision benefits coverage by an average of 10X while reducing costs to the employer and to the employee by up to 90%. XP Health features frames from the world’s leading designers like Tom Ford, Ray-Ban, Armani, Gucci, Coach.
Founded in 2019 by Antonio Moraes and James Wong, XP Health is headquartered in Palo Alto and is backed by private investors. For more information, visit xphealth.co or follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.