Founder of Black healthcare app HUED gets major investment from Serena Williams
HUED, founded in 2018 by Kimberly Wilson, connects patients with doctors of color
The Female Founders Fund showed up and showed out for the digital health start-up HUED, which has raised $1.6 million in seed funding led by women venture capitalists.
Founded in 2018 by Kimberly Wilson, other round participants include, but are not limited to Serena Williams‘ Serena Ventures, Osage Venture Partners, Northwestern Mutual, Black Founders Matter, Gingerbread Capital, and angel investor and health industry leader, Halle Tecco.
HUED aims to connect patients with doctors of color. Users can connect with Black and Latinx healthcare providers through the company’s website or mobile app, where they can book appointments with therapists, doctors, and even a doula.
“Embarking on such a bold mission to reimagine the healthcare system for communities of color is no easy feat,” said Wilson, Founder and CEO of HUED in a press release. “It’s incredible to have received the support of incredible investors, such as Female Founders Fund, to further our mission to empower and train healthcare workers on anti-racist practices, implicit bias, and providing culturally sensitive care for Black and Latinx populations.”
“We are thrilled to back Kimberly and her vision for HUED in making healthcare more equitable for millions of Black and Latinx patients,” said Anu Duggal, Founding Partner of Female Founders Fund. “She has built exciting traction with a strong team and we believe the HUED model will have a massive impact on healthcare outcomes in this country.”
HUED uses a patient’s insurance provider and region to match providers. The site also allows patients to access reviews about specific providers before making an appointment, according to AfroTech.
The frustration that Black and brown people have when it comes to finding an adequate healthcare provider served as Wilson’s inspiration behind HUED.
“Nobody is going to take care of us, but us,” Wilson said. “Research shows that people of color are not getting the health and medical care they need because of fear, access to quality healthcare and distrust of doctors. But more importantly, our pain and traumas are being dismissed.”
Wilson’s frustration with her own healthcare scare also motivated her to create HUED. When she ended up in the emergency room in 2017 with complications related to fibroids, Wilson said her mostly white male doctors “dismissed my pain.”
“During that time I saw a lot of doctors — mostly white men — who either dismissed my pain or tried to push me down the route of a hysterectomy,” she recalled.
“Frustrated by my experience, and having to travel so far just to find a culturally competent physician — and the stories I had heard from friends and friends in my head, Serena Williams — I decided to do something about it,” Wilson said.
Per a press release, HUED is a digital health startup on a mission to make culturally competent healthcare accessible for Black and Latinx communities. Today, HUED’s database features over 600 healthcare providers tailored specifically toward communities of color and has developed a digital training curriculum for healthcare systems and stakeholders to dismantle structural and policy barriers that prevent these populations from accessing high-quality and culturally competent healthcare.
This year, HUED was recognized as one of the most innovative companies by Forbes, landing on the #Next1000 list. Through this funding round, HUED will be able to train over 5,000 healthcare workers nationwide.
“We’re scaling quickly — by the end of this year, we’ll be 10 strong. We were just five at the start of 2021 — between contractors and full-time team members,” Wilson said. “What’s most important for us when looking at a new person joining our team is their belief in our mission, a love of learning and an open, critical mind that always challenges assumptions and the status quo.”
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