Antonio and James Wong founded XP Health in 2018 after identifying a need for improved vision care and benefits.
Skip the Line: A seamless online vision care platform
When Antonio was 17 years old, he set an ambitious goal for himself: by the time he was 20, he wanted to positively impact one million people. This led him to start an impact venture capital firm that invested mainly in healthcare. He pursued this endeavor for around a decade, then headed to Stanford to get his MBA and Masters in Healthcare Policy. While at Stanford, he met his co-founder James Wong, who was working at Facebook and had access to one of the best employee vision benefits in the country. However, getting eye care was a negative experience for James due to the hassle of in-person eye exams and the high out-of-pocket costs for glasses.
James is not alone in this experience. On average, employees spend $230 out-of-pocket for glasses due to high markup costs. In fact, traditional vision insurance, on average, has an -8 NPS score, a metric evaluating customer experience. Antonio shared that traditional vision care is not only inconvenient but also expensive and non-transparent. “You expect your glasses to be fully covered, but they very rarely are,” Antonio says, “There are a lot of little tricks from insurance and retail that people encounter.” Antonio and James founded XP Health to address these concerns.
XP Health’s platform starts with a care navigation that assesses the type of care a member needs – whether an eye exam or online prescription renewal, which members can do in only a few minutes. XP Health also has an online marketplace powered by proprietary artificial intelligence that was trained with 35,000 human faces, which helps to ensure patients receive the glasses they love. “It’s a better member experience for much less,” Antonio says. Regarding payment, there is $0 in copay and “full expected coverage of eye exams and additional services at high-value providers.” Together, these services result in a +72 NPS score for XP Health.
From Leader to Leader: 3 Lessons Learned
#1: Learn From Your Customers
Antonio says one of XP Health’s key values is being “obsessed with listening to customers” and considering their views wholeheartedly. When Antonio and James were at Stanford, they had a different initial idea for XPHealth. However, James and Antonio diligently interviewed 120 potential customers, eventually pivoting four times to decide on a final idea that best aligned with customers’ needs.
#2: Be Resilient
Antonio also emphasizes the importance of resilience. Similar to many healthtech companies, Antonio comments that “It was very tough to go through the pandemic. We had to go back to my garage; we let go almost every employee that we had”. That said, a resilient leadership team enabled XP Health to come out the other side with a skyrocketing business model.
#3: Hire Those Better Than You
“Recruit people that are 10 times better than you are”, Antonio affirms. He recognizes the vast talent in the industry and knows it is impossible to be an expert in every area he oversees. Thus, he stays eager in finding the best Silicon Valley has to offer.
$17.1 Million Towards Vision Care: What’s Next?
In late September, XP Health raised $17.1 million in Series A Funding. Led by HC9 Ventures, Valor Capital Group, and ManchesterStory, this funding round will help propel XP Health to reach its goal of serving 10 million members in a few years from now. Antonio says that XP Health is “doubling down on all the technology” with the added funds.
From a young age, Antonio had big goals of positively impacting communities— XP Health is enabled him to do this and more. Democratizing access to high-quality, delightful experiences in vision care, Antonio’s impact on the healthtech industry is profound.
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