French startup Doctolib held a (virtual) press conference this morning to share some metrics, review the company’s recent product launches, and give a hint on future investments. Doctolib started as a booking platform for doctors and has expanded to other services for doctors and medical staff in general.
With its software-as-a-service strategy, medical workers pay a monthly subscription to use Doctolib’s tools and use them with their patients. And it works well since 300,000 medical workers currently pay Doctolib each month – general practitioners, dentists, pharmacies, psychologists, etc. With a subscription price starting at € 129 per month, the startup has a monthly recurring income of several tens of millions. euros.
2021 was a pivotal year for the company as the platform has reached critical mass in France. For example, when you want to get vaccinated against Covid-19 in France, many people go to the Doctolib site to find the nearest vaccination center, pharmacy or doctor with free slots. Vaccination sites can use other platforms, but in reality most of them use Doctolib to manage reservations.
Doctolib is currently present in France, Germany and Italy. France remains the company’s main market. So far, 60 million people have used Doctolib – most of them have interacted with the service to make an appointment. In 2022, the company projects it will work with 100,000 additional medical workers.
Creation of a product suite
Now that Doctolib has a business relationship with a ton of doctors, it can launch new products and build its range of services. In many ways, Doctolib follows Salesforce’s strategy. It has a very sticky main product that serves as a springboard for other products.
A few years ago, the company launched remote appointments with a telemedicine add-on. Doctors who choose to pay a little more can start video calls and use Doctolib’s payment systems for remote appointments.
Last year, Doctolib launched Doctolib Doctor. It is a back office tool for administrative tasks. For example, it allows you to centralize documents for each patient, view a patient’s history, take notes and issue invoices.
“We started working on it three years ago. We thought we would start from scratch compared to what is available, ”said Arthur Thirion, CEO of Doctolib in France. “It is currently used by just over 2,000 physicians. “
Of course, this is not the first product to help you manage your job as a doctor. But it integrates well with the rest of the Doctolib ecosystem.
Similarly, Doctolib wishes to increase the network effects of its platform with a new service called Doctolib team. This time, the company does not want to create a new source of income, it wants to make Doctolib indispensable.
Doctolib Team is an instant messaging service that allows you to find specialists and chat with them. You can also securely send documents about your patients.
For healthcare professionals who already use Doctolib, this is an interesting feature. For healthcare professionals who are not yet using Doctolib, they can create a free Doctolib Team account and start using it – and maybe they will subscribe to other Doctolib products later.
Operate with a high level of control
And the company is well aware that it cannot act like other startups. For example, the startup achieved unicorn status, but has stopped sharing funding details since then. You don’t want to talk too much about money when trying to improve everyone’s health.
“We have ceased to communicate on the round tables for several years,” said co-founder and CEO Stanislas Niox-Chateau. “Every quarter, every year, investors re-invest or invest for the first time depending on our long-term plan.
Doctolib now wants to become a company with a mission, it is a special status that you can obtain if you respect certain rules. And Stanislas Niox-Chateau finds multiple arguments to position his company as a company that improves society.
For example, he said that Doctolib’s business model is pretty clear: the business relies exclusively on subscriptions from healthcare professionals. The company does not monetize patient data.
According to him, the platform is also widely used and does not create a digital divide. Many users do not live in large cities, for example. And the product is supposed to be simple enough that even the elderly can use it.
But that doesn’t mean the company plans to stand still. It has ambitious expansion plans for 2022. Doctolib will increase its team from 2,300 employees to 3,000 employees. And from today, all employees will become Doctolib shareholders. Everyone will receive at least € 20,000 in stock exchanges.
In 2022, the company plans to invest 300 million euros to improve its products and develop its platforms in France, Germany and Italy – this mainly means new hires and new offices. There won’t be a new market launch in 2022, but it could happen later.