Promising news for any unlucky american in immediate need of a doctor: BetterDoctor, the San Francisco based healthcare tool and online doctor search service, has closed a $10 million Series A funding round led by New Enterprise Associates and participated by existing investors including SoftTechVC and Finnish venture capital firm Lifeline Ventures.
The fund will be used to further develop the existing service, hire new employees and spread the service’s web and mobile applications to new platforms.
Finnish BetterDoctor founders Ari Tulla and Tapio Tolvanen are both former high ranking Nokia software developers with decades of experience in the field. When Tulla moved to California from Finland, he faced complex health issues in his family and needed to find the right doctor to work with. However, in a country where there are over 250 000 medical centers, one million doctors and over 1500 different health insurance plans, Tulla would find it difficult to find the right doctor, inspiring the man to construct a system that would solve the problem.
Working together with Tolvanen, an ex-colleague, the two built BetterDoctor, which aimed to be most thorough search engine to find doctors and physicians in the country. This was made possible due to the U.S. Health department’s publication of a controversial database which summarizes the payments for procedures and services conducted by doctors.
"Our vision is to take the guessing game out of selecting the right doctor. Wouldn't you want a service that helps you find the best local specialist who focuses on your condition, accepts your insurance and is available tomorrow? With the help of new funding, we are getting closer to the vision every day.", comments Tulla.
In the end, it all comes to down to open sourced data, thanks to which users can easily compare reviews given to doctors and hence increase competition between healthcare providers, since quality brings in good publicity as well as happier and healthier customers. As of today, the service has already helped over 10,000,000 users in need of healthcare.
Mohamad Makhzoumi, partner at NEA, said, "With more than one million doctors searchable by specialty, insurance, location, availability and condition, BetterDoctor has essentially created a healthcare translation tool that can help patients better understand doctors through the behaviors behind their activities. It's big data making a big difference in healthcare, and NEA is thrilled to be a part of it."
BetterDoctor made some headlines last year when they won the Slush title for most promising start up. The company has a subsidiary in Finland, a development team working in Helsinki and as the fund states, they’re now hiring (though mostly in SF)!