DexCare, a spinout of Providence’s digital innovation group, has acquired commerce platform Womp Inc., a 12-year old Bellingham, Wash.-based startup. The purchase will add Womp’s technology for streamlining online experiences to DexCare’s toolkit for supporting health systems.
“We are taking these tools, technologies, tactics and strategies from the e-commerce world and applying them directly to healthcare access, and doing it on behalf of health systems,” said DexCare CEO Derek Streat in an interview with Geekwire.
DexCare helps manage health system capacity and appointment booking, navigating patients to the most appropriate care setting. Its tools can guide people to virtual options or offer appointments with physicians with more availability than a patient’s initial provider. DexCare’s customers include Providence, Kaiser Permanente, Mass General Brigham and Houston Methodist.
The acquisition will add additional capability such as Womp’s “fast pages” technology to load web pages rapidly. Womp’s customers include AT&T and Bed Bath & Beyond.
Womp’s two brands, WompHealth and WompMobile, will become independent subsidiaries of DexCare. Womp’s team of more than 20 will remain on board, as will Womp CEO Madison Miner, who co-founded the company with Robert Gara, the company’s chief marketing and communications officer. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Reducing digital friction, by making the complex simple, is how we create customer-centric, results-driven experiences,” said Miner in a statement Thursday announcing the deal. Miner added that the healthcare industry’s websites “lack the performance, sophistication and personalization that consumers are conditioned to expect.”
Womp grew out of a free software program for snow reports Miner made while a student at Western Washington University. He created a tool that automatically called his phone if the slopes had more than 10 inches of new snow.
In a 2012 interview with GeekWire, Miner explained that the technology enabled him to select any portion of a website, such as images or code, and monitor it from his homepage. “It was a natural fit to refocus the technology to selecting content from regular websites to be converted and viewed on smartphones,” he said. Womp also changed its name early on from Womple, to avoid infringing on a company called Wapple, which had previously sued Apple.
Womp will continue to develop and market its e-commerce capabilities for non-healthcare customers. “We absolutely want to keep that live and vibrant,” said Streat, who previously co-founded Seattle startup C-SATS, which used technology to grade surgeons and was acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 2018.
DexCare raised $50 million this January and has grown to more than 100 employees since its founding in 2016. Streat said the company has had a strong year, with revenue and customer count up 200-to-300% over 2021.
DexCare has its eye out for future acquisitions. Streat said that he anticipates bringing additional e-commerce, marketing and advertising expertise on board. DexCare also will build partnerships with organizations that consolidate provider information and support interoperability of different systems within a medical group.
Ultimately, DexCare aims to better match patients with the care they need and help it happen efficiently, said Streat.
“You’ll see us pulling in more of those kinds of entities that either help health systems find and get more patients and/or match the right resources on the backend,” he said.