Medbelle is Talis Capital’s first investment in healthtech and we are very proud to be joining signals Venture Capital, Mutschler Ventures, IBB and Cavalry Ventures in contributing to the Berlin-based company’s $7m Series A fundraise.
As my colleague Beatrice has explained in great detail, in a two-part blog, digital disruption of healthcare is well underway, particularly here in the UK. We see healthtech as a key sector for future investment and within that very broad sector, we have identified several sub-verticals as ripe for transformation including telemedicine and digital hospitals.
Medbelle is a digital hospital that fits exactly into that thesis. It offers services through a digital platform that has the potential to both improve the patient experience dramatically, as well as create much-needed efficiencies in the way services and procedures are provided.
Medbelle offers self-pay customers a way to find and connect with doctors, putting them in control of their care. So far, c.800 procedures have been booked through Medbelle - a number which is expected to soar as it begins to expand its offer.
Patients can book their procedure through Medbelle, which provides them with leading specialists and state-of-the-art operating facilities. All of the organisation is taken care of by the platform. Interactions between the patient and their support team take place between a single simple web portal and app.
All of this is revolutionary from the point of view of the patient. Navigating private health care can be tricky and prospective patients can often feel overwhelmed, even deterred, by the sheer number of specialists out there and the complexity of the subject, and need to get it right.
One of the themes that we at Talis Capital see across many verticals is information overload and the increasing desire from consumers for expert advice and guidance. People are daunted by the huge range of choice the internet puts at their fingertips - especially in complex fields like healthcare - and we are seeing a shift from aggregation - you could see as the Amazon or Ebay model - to curation. (In travel, this is a key theme and the reason we invested in The Plum Guide.)
In Medbelle the platform can educate the patient, explain the procedure, connect them with the right surgeon and book the operation. There is transparency around pricing - no need for essential costs to be overlooked - and the whole patient journey, from consultation to post-procedure check ups, can be managed.
From a provider point of view, Medbelle also provides a new way to maximise expensive facilities. It can help to utilize underused operating theatres and make sure highly-trained surgeons use their time well.
Medbelle is solving pain points on both sides of the patient journey.
To achieve this, the German-founded company is devoted to attracting the top echelon of doctors and specialists. For instance, all its surgeons are Fellows of the Royal College of Surgeons and registered as a specialist in the General Medical Council amongst a number of other qualifications, which means that patients can be assured that they are in safe hands.
We truly believe that this will be a groundbreaking service in patient care. From a start in the self-pay market, it has the potential to accelerate growth, especially with increasing opportunities to work with the NHS and health insurers.
Which brings us to the co-founders of Medbelle - Daniel Kolb and Leander de Laporte. They’re both great entrepreneurs with a passion for creating a truly innovative healthcare business.
Leander saw it in first person looking at the doctors in his own family, and understood the problem of inefficiencies from a doctor and a patient perspective.
We were convinced of both their business case and their capability to do it. The fact that they had track-record scaling startups, was doubly reassuring.
Sometimes it takes 12 months or even longer to be sure that you want to invest in a company. Having researched the digital health sector for over 2 years - we know the types of companies we’re looking for. We found and invested in Medbelle in a very short time and have real conviction as well as great excitement in the deal.
Medbelle may be our first investment in health tech but we are certain we are in safe hands!