Is Julia Cheek and EverlyWell the new Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos?
SEASON 9 EPISODE 12PITCH
Easy at-home health testing kitsENTREPRENEUR
Julia CheekASKED FOR
$1 million for 5%GOT
$1 million line of credit at 8% + 5% equitySHARK
EverlyWell is the digital health platform making home health testing easier. EverlyWell offers a total of 35 in-home test kits that use either blood, saliva or urine to examine a variety of health aspects including testosterone levels, to metabolism and food sensitivity tests which are some of its most popular.
Once a kit is purchased, all there is to do is collect a sample and return it to the one of their listed laboratories for review by a doctor. Test results are made available within five business days and can be reviewed online.
EVERLYWELL BEFORE SHARK TANK
In 2016, EverlyWell founder and CEO Julia Cheeks, came up with the idea after having to pay expensive out of pocket fees while waiting weeks for the results to what should have been a routine test. Unsatisfied with the service she received, Cheeks set out to find a more convenient, timely and cost effective solution.
EverlyWell is in a category of at home testing solutions that include Modern Fertility and Future Family – companies that focus on women’s fertility and 23andMe, the genetics testing company that has raised more than $750 million for its at home gene-testing services.
But unlike 23andMe, EverlyWell is dedicated to maintaining privacy and compliancy standards to a high level. The company does not sell or share customer data or test results – except to share with the physician network who must be able to review it. The data collected by EverlyWell is hosted on servers that follow HIPAA, the government policy on health information privacy which details how private health data should be handled.
EVERLYWELL ON SHARK TANK
EverlyWell entered the Tank with $2.5 million in sales, projecting to do at least $5 million that year. Despite the number, many of the Sharks worry about competition in the home testing space. With this in mind, Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Robert Herjavec and guest Shark Rohan Oza are out. Lori Greiner likes the company makes an offer of $1 million as lines of credit at 8% interest for 5% equity in the company which Cheek accepts.
EVERLYWELL AFTER SHARK TANK
EverlyWell has continued to do quite well since its episode aired with an annual revenue of $4 million. According to Crunchase, In April 2019, the company closed a series A round of funding where EverlyWell raised $50 million from firms that include NextGen Venture Partners, Next Coast Ventures, Highland Capital Partners, and Goodwater Capital bringing EverlyWell’s total net worth to $55 million.
With news articles claiming EverlyWell’s food sentivity test as medically dubious, people have begun to question the validity of the company. Some have even drawn comparisons between Cheeks and Elizabeth Holmes, the founder and former CEO of the now defunct company, Theranos.
Theranos was supposed to be the revolutionary company that claimed it would changed blood testing by only using a fingerprick of blood. Theranos also grew in popularly due to its “eccentric” founder with her wide-eyed gaze, baritone voice and obsession with imitating Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs. It wasn’t long before the once named “youngest and wealthiest self-made female billionaire” was being accused of defrauding investors of billions of dollars after the discovery that Theranos devices were defective and the research behind the company’s proposition was non-existent.
Despite the uncanny resemblance between the Theranos and the EverlyWell founder, EverlyWell has worked to gain the trust of its many customers. But reviews of its tests remain mixed.
Tests like the vitamin, heart health and women’s ovarian reserve are highly rated whereas the food sensitivity tests have mixed reviews. Other popular tests include the Metabolism Test, Thyroid Test, and the Vitamin D & Inflammation Test which can all be found on Amazon or through the EverlyWell website. There are even quite a few reviews and customer experiences for EverlyWell on Reddit including this one for the Women’s Health Test and this, this, and this one for the food sensitivity tests.