California-based healthcare lender Finrise has raised $5.4m in debt and seed equity funding from investors Mayfield, NFX Guild, WTI and numerous angel investors. The company calls itself a healthcare marketplace because the idea is to serve as a one-stop online shop for doctor’s appointments, patient questions, and to make payments.
The payments piece is the real business here, with a focus on providing patients — those who may either have sticker shock or not enough funds to pay an out-of-pocket expense — with the means to borrow the money at standard rates (starting with a 6.95 percent APR). And they can do it all from the doctor’s office. CEO Garrett Smallwood, who cofounded the company late last year with two fellow colleagues from the home services marketplace Redbeacon (a startup that sold in 2012 to Home Depot), says Finrise is starting in veterinarians’ offices first. In fact, two weeks ago, it launched Vetary.com, whose tagline is “Instant care with pet credit.” Smallwood says 160,000 people have interacted with the site since. Human patients and their frequently sky-high bills are next, he adds.