Polaris Partners leads Series A round for health app First Opinion

San Francisco-based First Opinion, an app that helps users get personal health consultations from doctors, has closed $6 million in Series A funding. Polaris Partners led the round with participation from return backers that included True Ventures, Felicis Ventures, Scrum Ventures and Monashees Capital.


SAN FRANCISCO (December 18, 2014) – First Opinion, a mobile app that provides users remote personal health consultations from dedicated physicians, today announced it has raised $6 million in Series A funding. The investment round was led by Polaris Partners, with additional contributions being made by existing investors, including True Ventures, Felicis Ventures, Scrum Ventures and Monashees Capital.

Studies from the American Medical Association show that roughly 1 billion doctor visits occur each year in the United States, and of those, 70 percent are unnecessary and could be avoided by consulting with a physician by phone, email or text. First Opinion offers an alternative to the time and cost associated with these unnecessary visits by offering users 24-hour access to trained physicians via text messaging.

Users are able to text health-related questions – and even photos – to a doctor in First Opinion’s network and can receive a response in five minutes or less.

“It’s clear that First Opinion is addressing a real problem in the healthcare industry involving the overutilization of doctor office visits,” said Brian Chee, managing partner at Polaris Partners, who will join First Opinion as a member of the board of directors. “We invested in this company because it has the power to transform an ineffective process for the better, by reducing both doctor patient loads and out of pocket expenditures for patients who seek first to consult with a physician on First Opinion.”

First Opinion users are paired with a primary doctor who provides personalized and qualified consultations that help guide users in determining if a trip to the doctor’s office is actually needed. First Opinion users are paired with the same doctor every time they have a health question so trust can be built and relationships fostered over time.

First Opinion has cultivated a global network of doctors – composed entirely of practicing physicians – across a variety of specialties, including family medicine, dermatology, pediatrics, diabetes care, emergency medicine, radiology, genetics and others. In the last 12 months, approximately 100,000 healthcare consultations have been conducted using the mobile app.

“First Opinion is so much more than a symptom checker search engine; we are connecting users with a single, qualified physician who can make informed recommendations and opinions based on individual circumstances,” said McKay Thomas, co-founder and CEO of First Opinion. “We’re really focused on decentralizing and distributing access to trained physicians who can provide expert guidance combined with a comforting bedside manner. This Series A funding will allow us to expand our network of doctors, grow internal infrastructures and focus on fine tuning our simple but proven approach to resolving complex healthcare issues.”
In addition to this funding round, First Opinion has raised $2.6 million in seed funding, bringing its total investment amount to date to $8.6 million.

For more information on First Opinion, visit www.firstopinionapp.com.

About First Opinion
First Opinion is a way to text a doctor 24 hours a day to ask health-related questions and get expert guidance in determining whether a trip to the doctor’s office is necessary. Through the app, each user gets matched one-to-one with a single doctor and a small after-hours team so that users are always able to have round-the-clock accessibility. First Opinion doctors don’t diagnose, but help people know when they need to go to the doctor, help them make preparations to get the most out of the visit, and help people who have questions after a diagnosis is made. Investors in First Opinion include Polaris Partners, True Ventures, Felicis Ventures, Scrum Ventures, Monashees Capital, Greylock Discovery and others.