98point6 CEO Robbie Cape is no longer with the company in abrupt shakeup at telemedicine startup

Robbie Cape, former CEO of virtual primary care startup 98point6, accepts the award for Health Innovation of the Year in 2019 at the GeekWire Awards. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

98point6 CEO Robbie Cape is no longer working at the heavily-funded virtual healthcare company he helped start in 2015, GeekWire has learned.

The company confirmed on Wednesday that Cape is out, and the board search for a replacement is underway.

It’s unusual for a co-founder and CEO to abruptly depart, with no one in line to take over. Sources say Cape’s departure came as a surprise to employees. Chairman Jeff Greenstein, an early investor in 98point6 by way of his firm YIS Capital, is serving as interim CEO.

We’ve reached out to Cape and will update this story when we hear back.

Here’s a statement from 98point6 COO Fukiko Ogisu:

“As of today, Robbie Cape is no longer serving in the role of CEO for 98point6. We value his six-years of vision and leadership. While Robbie is no longer with the company, we will continue to execute on the mission he was instrumental in creating—to ensure every single human on Earth has access to high-quality primary care without ever needing to make a financial trade-off to get it. The 98point6 Board is conducting an executive search for a new CEO. The C-level team will continue leading the business and Jeff Greenstein, 98point6 co-founder and chairman, will serve as interim CEO while the Board leads the search.”

Cape is a veteran of the Seattle tech scene. He sold his previous company, the family scheduling app Cozi, to Time Inc. in 2014 and previously spent 12 years at Microsoft.

In 2015 Cape founded 98point6 alongside Gordon Cohen, a professor at Arizona State University, and Greenstein (who was not revealed as a co-founder until today).

The 350-person company helps facilitate virtual primary care appointments and reported huge demand amid the pandemic. It raised a $118 million Series E round in October led by private equity giant L Catterton and late-stage investment firm Activant Capital. At the time, the company was valued at $518 million, according to PitchBook.

98point6 provides primary care in all 50 states to more than 3 million patients, connecting them in real-time to its doctors alongside an AI-powered chatbot, texts, and digital images. Its customers include giant companies such as Boeing and Chipotle, as well as health plans and health systems. The company also offers a direct-to-consumer product.

The startup makes money via a membership-based model. It charges consumers $120/year and $1 per visit. Those using a sponsored plan paid for by their employer, for example, can access doctors at low or no cost.

The company says 60% of Americans don’t have a relationship with primary care, and that the number is growing.

“We’re trying to solve this problem by delivering them a primary care relationship on their terms,” Cape said in a video earlier this year. He added: “The depth of service we can provide, and the breadth of service — even just in the context of primary care — is almost endless. This is just the beginning.”

98point6 is among a bevy of health-tech startups seeing increased usage and attracting investor interest during the coronavirus crisis. Competitors include MDLive (acquired by Cigna earlier this year), Amwell, Firefly Health, Teladoc, and others. Aetna, a CVS Health company, just launched its own virtual primary care service last month.

98point6 has raised $247 million to date. Investors include Goldman Sachs; BlackRock CEO Larry Fink; Costco co-founder Jim Sinegal; and Frazier Healthcare Partners Managing Partner Nader Naini.

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