Approximately 90 percent of people in need of rehabilitation services for drug and alcohol abuse don’t have access to them, according to a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration survey. Why? Often, because they don’t know where to look.
Santa Monica-based WeRecover wants to fill that information gap with its Kayak-like online booking engine for rehab centers. The startup’s matching algorithm pairs people with an accredited rehab center with open beds, tailored to that person’s budget, insurance, clinical needs and location. The goal is to make it easier for anyone seeking treatment for themselves or otherwise to quickly discover and secure a spot at a facility, streamlining what can be a daunting and logistically complicated process that prevents people from receiving the care they need.
Today, WeRecover is announcing another $2 million fundraise led by Crosslink Capital, bringing its total venture capital backing to $5.25 million. Box Group, Wonder Ventures, Struck Capital and others also participated in the round.
“It’s a really obvious idea … but truly no entrepreneurs anywhere were working to build a marketplace for addiction recovery centers,” WeRecover co-founder and chief executive officer Stephen Estes told TechCrunch. “There’s an overwhelming need for a simpler way to connect with patients.”
Founded in 2016 by Estes and Max Jaffe, WeRecover has rapidly grown from connecting a few hundred people seeking treatment per month to roughly 4,000 users last month. The startup now provides information on 11,000 treatment centers in 29 states. The goal is to have at least 1 program listed in every state by the end of 2018. Currently, most of the programs the company tracks are located in California, Florida, Arizona and Colorado.
Estes said the WeRecover database is the most comprehensive database of free, nonprofit and state-funded treatment programs in existence, simply because no one had set out to aggregate this particular set of information until now.
The startup plans to use the latest round of venture financing to continue hunting down treatment centers to add to its database, expand its 16-person team and, eventually, Estes said, WeRecover would like to craft and integrate content into the experience.
“We play a really important role in somebody’s journey,” he said. “They find treatment through us and we are part of one of the most important decisions they make in their life, so we should keep them engaged. We do think there’s room to build an app to help people sustain their sobriety and connect them with their peers.”