Last updated
Watsi blue 3 triangle logo.png
FoundedMay 23, 2011;8 years ago (2011-05-23) [1]
FounderChase Adam
Jesse Cooke
Type 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
45-3236734 [2]
Focus Humanitarianism, Health care
Coordinates 37°46′23″N122°24′16″W / 37.7730331°N 122.4045471°W / 37.7730331; -122.4045471 Coordinates: 37°46′23″N122°24′16″W / 37.7730331°N 122.4045471°W / 37.7730331; -122.4045471
Area served
Developing countries
ServicesFunding medical treatment
Method Crowd funding
Chase Adam [2] [3]
Key people
Grace Garey, Jon Skaggs, Mary Everette Cann, Dr. Mitul Kapadia, Dinkar Jain, Paul Graham
Revenue (2014)
$3,014,372 [2]
Expenses (2014)$2,071,760 [2]
Employees (2013)
5 [2]
Volunteers (2013)
10 [2]
Website watsi.org

Watsi is a nonprofit healthcare crowdsourcing platform that enables individual donors to directly fund medical care for individuals in developing countries without access to affordable medical care. [4] [5] [6]

Crowdsourcing obtaining services, ideas, or content from a group of people, rather than from employees or suppliers

Crowdsourcing is a sourcing model in which individuals or organizations obtain goods and services, including ideas and finances, from a large, relatively open and often rapidly-evolving group of internet users; it divides work between participants to achieve a cumulative result. The word crowdsourcing itself is a portmanteau of crowd and outsourcing, and was coined in 2006. As a mode of sourcing, crowdsourcing existed prior to the digital age.

Developing country Nation with a low living standard relative to other countries

A developing country is a country with a less developed industrial base and a low Human Development Index (HDI) relative to other countries. However, this definition is not universally agreed upon. There is also no clear agreement on which countries fit this category. A nation's GDP per capita compared with other nations can also be a reference point. In general, the United Nations accepts any country's claim of itself being "developing".



Watsi was the first nonprofit funded by seed accelerator Y Combinator. [7] [8] They have also been funded by the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation. [9]

The Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, known as the DRK Foundation, is a private foundation focused on high impact philanthropy. Specifically, it makes philanthropic investments in nonprofit ventures that it believes to have high impact. It is the philanthropic arm of Draper Richards, a venture capital firm.

In November 2015 the company announced a $3.5M growth round of donations led by 12 investors including Paul Graham, Tencent, and The Pershing Square Foundation. [10]

Medical partners included Nyaya Health, Dr. Rick Hodes, Wuqu' Kawoq, Children's Surgical Centre, CURE International, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, Hope for West Africa, Project Muso, Lwala Community Alliance, Living Hope Haiti, Floating Doctors, Burma Border Projects, Partner for Surgery, International Care Ministries, The Kellermann Foundation, and World Altering Medicine. [11]

Childrens Surgical Centre organization

The Children's Surgical Centre is a non-profit, non-governmental, and non-religious surgical hospital in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and registered as a 501(c)(3) in the United States. Founded in 1998, the centre aims to improve the quality of life for disabled children and adults by providing free rehabilitative surgery.

CURE International is a Christian nonprofit organization based in Spring Lake, Michigan. CURE's efforts are focused on providing medical care to children suffering primarily from orthopedic and neurological conditions. The organization's stated mission is "healing the sick and proclaiming the kingdom of God." The organization operates hospitals in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Niger, the Philippines, Uganda, the United Arab Emirates and Zambia. The organization also runs specialty programs for clubfoot and hydrocephalus in an additional 19 countries including Bangladesh and Honduras.

In 2016, Wasti partnered with Patientco, a healthcare payment technology company, to fund medical procedures throughout the world. [12]


The medical partner identifies a patient that needs low-cost, high-impact medical care and submits the profile to Watsi. If the profile meets the criteria, Watsi accepts it and guarantees the medical partner that they will cover the cost of providing care to that patient. Watsi posts the profile online, donors browse the profile and fund it, and the medical partner provides care to the patient once the patient reaches his or her funding goal.

After the treatment is provided, the medical partner sends Watsi an update about the outcome of the treatment. After receiving the update, Watsi sends it to the donors who supported that patient and transfer the funds via PayPal to the medical partner's bank account to cover the cost of the treatment. [13]

PayPal Online financial services company based in San Jose, California

PayPal Holdings Inc. is an American company operating a worldwide online payments system that supports online money transfers and serves as an electronic alternative to traditional paper methods like checks and money orders. The company operates as a payment processor for online vendors, auction sites, and many other commercial users, for which it charges a fee in exchange for benefits such as one-click transactions and password memory. PayPal's payment system, also called PayPal, is considered a type of payment rail.

In 2014, Watsi's old logo, which had a blue cross with a white triangle, was the subject of a trademark suit from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, [14] leading the company to change their logo to white triangles on a blue circle. [15]

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Two-tier healthcare

Two-tier healthcare is a situation in which a basic government-provided healthcare system provides basic care, and a secondary tier of care exists for those who can pay for additional, better quality or faster access. Most countries have both publicly and privately funded healthcare, but the degree to which it creates a quality differential depends on the way the two systems are managed, funded, and regulated.

Ron Conway American businessman

Ronald Crawford Conway is an American angel investor and philanthropist, often described as one of Silicon Valley's "super angels". Conway is recognized as a strong networker.

A public hospital, or government hospital, is a hospital which is owned by a government and receives government funding. In some countries, this type of hospital provides medical care free of charge to patients, covering expenses and wages by government reimbursement.

Utilization management (UM) or utilization review is the use of managed care techniques such as prior authorization that allow payers, particularly health insurance companies to manage the cost of health care benefits by assessing its appropriateness before it is provided using evidence-based criteria or guidelines.

California Community Foundation organization

The California Community Foundation (CCF) is a philanthropic organization located in Los Angeles, California. Foundation Center, an independent nonprofit organization, ranks it among the top 100 foundations in the nation by asset size and total giving. Among all community foundations, CCF is 5th by total giving and 7th by asset size, as of the fiscal year that ended 6/30/12.

GiveWell is an American non-profit charity assessment and effective altruism-focused organization. GiveWell focuses primarily on the cost-effectiveness of the organizations that it evaluates, rather than traditional metrics such as the percentage of the organization's budget that is spent on overhead.

Healthcare in Singapore

Healthcare in Singapore is supervised by the Ministry of Health of the Singapore Government. It largely consists of a government-run universal healthcare system with a significant private healthcare sector. In addition, financing of healthcare costs is done through a mixture of direct government subsidies, compulsory savings, national healthcare insurance, and cost sharing.

DrChrono is an American company based in Sunnyvale, California, that provides a software as a service patient care platform consisting of a Web- and cloud-based app for doctors and patients that makes electronic health records (EHR) available digitally and provides practice management and medical billing services.

Samasource was founded as a nonprofit organization in 2008, and became a hybrid for-profit/non-profit social enterprise in 2016. The company is driven by a mission to expand opportunity for low-income people through the digital economy, and its social business model has helped over 50,000 people lift themselves out of poverty. One of the first organizations to engage in impact sourcing, Samasource workers are trained in basic computer skills and paid a local living wage for their labor.

GlobalGiving is 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in the United States that provides a global crowdfunding platform for grassroots charitable projects. Since 2002, more than 800,000 donors on GlobalGiving have raised more than $340 million to support more than 20,000 projects in 170 countries.

Crowdfunding is a process in which individuals or groups pool money and other resources to fund projects initiated by other people or organizations "without standard financial intermediaries." Crowdfunded projects may include creative works, products, nonprofit organizations, supporting entrepreneurship, businesses, or donations for a specific purpose. Crowdfunding usually takes place via an online portal that handles the financial transactions involved and may also provide services such as media hosting, social networking, and facilitating contact with contributors. It has increased since the passage of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act.


FundRazr is a Canadian crowdfunding site and Facebook app first released in 2009. It allows users to begin crowdfunding campaigns by creating pages and/or embed fundraising apps on their Facebook pages to raise money for causes such as medical care, memorials, and animal rescue causes.

YouCaring was a crowdfunding website for personal, medical, and charitable causes. The company is a Certified B corporation based in San Francisco, California. YouCaring does not take a percentage of funds raised on its site, or charge those raising funds a fee. The company relies on voluntary donations from donors to fund operations. YouCaring was acquired by GoFundMe in 2018.

Health care quality is a level of value provided by any health care resource, as determined by some measurement. As with quality in other fields, it is an assessment of whether something is good enough and whether it is suitable for its purpose. The goal of health care is to provide medical resources of high quality to all who need them; that is, to ensure good quality of life, to cure illnesses when possible, to extend life expectancy, and so on. Researchers use a variety of quality measures to attempt to determine health care quality, including counts of a therapy's reduction or lessening of diseases identified by medical diagnosis, a decrease in the number of risk factors which people have following preventive care, or a survey of health indicators in a population who are accessing certain kinds of care.

PharmAccess Foundation The PharmAccess Group is dedicated to affordable access to quality health care in Africa, by stimulating investments through partnerships with the private sector and government institutions.

PharmAccess Foundation is part of the PharmAccess Group. PharmAccess is an international non-profit organization with a digital agenda dedicated to connecting more people in sub-Saharan Africa to better healthcare. By making use of public-private partnerships, they leverage donor contributions, which they believe will pave the way for private investments hereby contributing to healthier populations and social and economic development. Currently PharmAccess employs a multidisciplinary team of professionals in Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and the Netherlands.

Inside Philanthropy is a news website about large philanthropic foundations and wealthy donors, created by David Callahan in 2013. It aims to increase oversight and transparency in large-scale philanthropy.

Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet. Crowdfunding is a form of crowdsourcing and alternative finance. In 2015, over US$34 billion was raised worldwide by crowdfunding.

Warrior Care Network is a national health system of PTSD treatment centers that provide care, travel and accommodations at no cost for United States veterans and their families. Treatment consists of intensive outpatient care, mainly focusing on PTSD, and TBI. Warrior Care Network began accepting veterans into the program on January 15, 2016. It was created by a joint effort between Wounded Warrior Project, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and partners consisting of four regional academic medical research hospitals located throughout the United States. Initial cost of the project was $100 million which was funded by a three-year grant from Wounded Warrior Project and its treatment center medical partners.

The Pineapple Fund was a philanthropic project by an anonymous individual which gave away 5,057 bitcoins to 60 charities. The amount was valued at $86 million in December 2017. Some of the themes supported were medical research, environmental conservation, human rights and psychedelic therapy.


  1. "Watsi, Inc.". Business Entity Search. California Secretary of State. Accessed on June 30, 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Form 990: Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax". Watsi Inc. Guidestar. September 30, 2014.
  3. "Our Team". Watsi. Accessed on June 30, 2016.
  4. "First Global Crowdfunding Website for Medical Treatments Opens to Public". Watsi. FundRaising Success. 23 August 2012. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  5. Empson, Rip (30 August 2012). "Watsi Is Using Crowdfunding To Treat The 1B+ Worldwide Without Access To Medical Care". TechCrunch. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  6. Devin Coldewey, Devin (27 August 2012). "Watsi: A Kickstarter for third-world medical care". NBCNews.com. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  7. "Watsi raises first-ever 'philanthropic seed round' from Silicon Valley investors". VentureBeat. 2013-07-25. Retrieved 2019-02-21.
  8. Piper, Kelsey (2018-10-26). "Silicon Valley wants to fight climate change with these "moonshot" ideas". Vox. Retrieved 2019-02-21.
  9. "DRK Foundation". drkfoundation.org. Retrieved 2019-03-26.
  10. "Watsi Receives $3.5M "Philanthropic Round" Donation For Nonprofit Healthcare Crowdfunding". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-02-21.
  11. "Watsi Transparency Document". Watsi. Google Drive. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  12. "Brief: Watsi Teams Up With Patientco to Fund Medical Procedures Throughout the World". Crowdfund Insider. 2016-06-21. Retrieved 2016-06-23.
  13. LaPorte, Nicole (13 April 2013). "Medical Care, Aided by the Crowd". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  14. Kumparak, Greg (26 February 2014). "Watsi Watsi To Change Its Logo Following Legal Threats From "Multi-Billion Dollar Health Insurance Company"". Techcrunch. AOL. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  15. [ dead link ]