Investors double down on Keas – the wellness hub that measures what matters: actual engagement

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Keas - the company - is named after this Australian bird.

Keas – the company – is named after this Australian bird.

With a fresh round of investment, new clients and new hires, Keas is moving even closer to world domination of corporate wellness thanks to a social focus instead of the standard, boring portal approach.

Two existing investors, Ignition Partners and Atlas Venture, are putting $8 million more into the company. It sounds like the investors are doubling down because Keas is putting its own revenue at risk to guarantee success for its customers. The product team at Keas is compensated based on people actually using the product. Also, Keas offers money back to clients if their employees don’t use the product, which means a measured improvement in wellness and sustained interaction with the wellness hub.

To get this deal, Keas requires companies to meet two criteria:

  1. All employees have to participate
  2. Companies must offer online access to the program

When Josh Stevens, CEO of Keas, says that people use the company’s platform 8 – 10 times per month, he is talking about real engagement. To count that People have to go to the app and do something, including:

  • Goal setting
  • Goal reporting
  • Chatting and sharing
  • Posting pictures of breakfast
  • Device set up

“It has to be any access to the app that is proactive not passive,” Stevens said.

Finally, Keas is going after big self-insured companies: employers with 2,500 or more workers. The goal is to be in 100 corporations by Q4 which will make 1 million lives covered, said Stevens.

He said companies have found an unintended consequence of rolling out the Keas platform: after employees have achieved their health goal, the health and wellness hub is becoming Facebook for the enterprize.

“Our customer base bans Facebook and other social media,” Stevens said. “When HR rolls out social networking in the name of health, we are the tool that is rolled out to the entire company, and it becomes corporate sanctioned social networking.”

Stevens said that HR departments are using the social feed to see and feel the pulse of the company.

“They’ll do the survey because they have to but with our social feed, they can see who is pissed off and who is happy and why,” he said.

Stevens said that this insight is shaping future product plans for the company. By the end of the year, Keas plans to integrate other human capital management work flows into the product.

Keas also announced several new clients today, including Pandora, Valeant Pharmaceuticals and KLA-Tencor, and two new members of the executive team.

Laura Tullman is the new vice president of marketing for Keas. Tullman joins from Hilton Worldwide where, as VP of Global Digital Analytics, she built and led a data driven culture to achieve double digit overall online revenue growth. Marty Funk, vice president of sales, also joins the Keas leadership team to foster widespread adoption of the Keas 360/365 platform. Funk joins Keas from Informatica where he led all of corporate sales for the Americas, growing revenue 150 percent during his tenure.

Keas has also incorporated other fitness platforms into its service, including FitBit, RunKeeper, GAIN Fitness, meQuilibrium, and LabCorp. The LabCorp partnership will allow Keas users to measure and track specific health indicators and integrate the information into individual fitness plans and corporate Health Reimbursement Account plans.
[Image of kea bird from]

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Veronica Combs

By Veronica Combs

I was the editor in chief at I started writing and editing in the print world and joined a dotcom right before the 2000 crash. I was at TechRepublic/CNET/BNET for 7 years. Health was more interesting to me than the latest version of Windows, so I left for a startup tracking prescription drug news. A year later, MedTrackAlert was acquired by HealthCentral, so I shifted to audience research. The fun of daily news and interviewing smart people brought me to MedCity News in February 2012.
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