70% of patients consider online reviews important when selecting a healthcare provider and 75% of people have searched for a physician online according to a recent survey from Patientpop. With reviews playing such a pivotal role in discovery, gathering reviews is not only essential as a marketing tool but also as a mechanism for clinicians to address issues that may be resulting in less than stellar patient satisfaction. Doctify is the tech-enabled healthcare review platform that provides both patients and healthcare providers with valuable insights. Founded by two physicians in 2015, the platform also offers patients the ability to schedule appointments and teleconsultations. Doctify is offered on a subscription basis to the healthcare provider and is free to use for patients.
London TechWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Stephanie Eltz to learn more about the business, the company’s strategic expansion plans to further support its mission to keep both patients and healthcare providers informed, latest funding round, and much, much more.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
We are incredibly pleased to have partnered with our investors to raise an additional $7.5M, taking overall investment in Doctify to a total of $20M.
The round was led by Keen Venture Partners, who are a ‘radically human’ venture capital firm known for backing fast-growing scale-ups. Our existing investors, including Amadeus Capital, Guinness Asset Management, and Tom Teichman (an early-stage investor in Doctify and in Lastminute.com, Made.com and Notonthehighstreet.com), also reinvested.
Doctify is a healthcare review platform that serves both patients and healthcare providers. In a nutshell, we help healthcare providers to collect feedback. As a result, we enable patients to find the best care and support healthcare providers in getting the insights they need to ultimately better understand and improve the care they provide.
What inspired the start of Doctify?
Suman Saha and I launched Doctify when we noticed just how difficult it was to find verified healthcare reviews.
It all started when I needed to see a specialist for a health concern. While I knew that there was amazing healthcare available, the lack of credible reviews meant that I really struggled to find someone I was confident in. I felt as though I wasn’t getting the full picture online. Despite being a surgeon myself at the time, I found it really difficult to make a decision.
After talking about it with Suman, who was also working as a surgeon, we realised that this wasn’t just an issue for patients. It was also having a great effect on healthcare providers.
People working in the healthcare profession need reviews to make sure that their care is patient-centred. Before Doctify, many found it difficult to collate the feedback that they needed to be able to do this. Through our platform, we have helped many healthcare providers to collect more online feedback in one year than they have managed in the entire lifespan of their practice to date.
How is it different?
Doctify is a first-of-its-kind review platform that is purpose-built for healthcare.
Before us, it was difficult to find real-time feedback that was trustworthy and had enough detail to be useful for patients and healthcare providers. What was already there was simply not suitable for the intricacies and requirements of healthcare.
What market are you targeting and how big is it?
Following on from our latest investment round, we are focusing on fueling our growth in Germany, Europe’s largest healthcare market. Our expansion into Germany will support our growth further afield. We are aiming to expand throughout the rest of Europe and into huge healthcare markets like Australia and the USA.
At the minute, there are many opportunities for healthtech innovators like Doctify. Healthcare is a global $8 trillion ecosystem that, according to Founder and CEO at Babylon Ali Parsa, “is broken”. European Healthtech startups now have a combined enterprise value of $41B, up from $8B in 2015. And in 2020, VC investment in European Healthtech reached $4B, which is 2.1 times higher than what was achieved in 2016,
Ultimately, we feel that Doctify is something that is relevant and that has the potential to help patients, wherever they may be.
What’s your business model?
Doctify is a subscription business. The healthcare providers, including doctors, dentists, clinics, and hospital chains, who work with us subscribe to our platform, which allows them to collect verified patient feedback from all their patients. Patients use the platform for free, and will always do so to help to research healthcare providers access real-time feedback.
How has COVID-19 impacted the business?
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, causing a dramatic shift to remote care, we made sure that we remained flexible and were quick to adapt, never taking our eye off our mission.
With many patients and healthcare specialists unable to meet face-to-face, we implemented a video consulting solution tool. We wanted to use our technology so that patients could still access the healthcare specialists that they found through Doctify. Over the last year and a half, we have helped patients to find 2810 healthcare professionals who now offer video consultations.
We also swiftly implemented “contact-free” patient review options. Now, healthcare providers can give patients QR codes to scan, meaning that they can leave feedback in a way that is entirely COVID safe.
Interestingly, our real-time reviews have also helped healthcare providers to better understand the experience of their patients during the pandemic, helping them to rapidly adapt to reassure patients during these uncertain times.
What was the funding process like?
We met Keen Venture Partners’ Principal Briehan Burke and the team. And, several other investors were interested in us after learning about the growth that we had experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. We chose to work with Keen because they felt the most aligned with our brand and our mission.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
A big decision for us at the time was whether or not to take on funding as we were close to being profitable.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
All of our investors understood that there is a growing need for a purpose-built healthcare review platform. They recognised that the platforms already in existence weren’t tailored to the industry, so couldn’t give patients and healthcare providers the insights that they needed. In essence, they saw a space in the market in which Doctify could flourish, especially as the founding team came from the healthcare industry, with several years of experience under their belt.
Our impressive growth over the last two years, along with the unit economics looking very strong and an industry expert founding team also led to investors wanting to work with us.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
Within the next six months, we want to have seen growth in new international markets as well as new product developments. We want to take the time to finetune the Doctify Analytics and Insights tool so that we can help more healthcare providers improve the care based on the feedback they get through our platform.
What advice can you offer companies in London that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
Working on profitability is a very healthy process that we truly enjoyed. If you get there or are close to getting there, you will be able to face investors with confidence and have time to choose the right one.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
In the near future, we are aiming to show predictable growth in all international markets. Our goal is to have helped 30 million people across the globe to confidently find the best care by 2023.
What’s your favourite outdoor activity in London?
Sit in stillness in Hyde Park looking at the lake. It reminds me of my roots in Austria. It’s surprisingly peaceful.