Singapore based DocDoc is an online platform that enables patients to search and book doctor appointments, at no cost. We caught up with Co-founder Grace Park on starting up the company, its challenges and her journey as a women entrepreneur.
Excerpts from our conversation:
Tell us about your journey with DocDoc.
It has been a whirlwind experience! Within the first year of operations, we launched in Singapore and South Korea, raised capital funding and hired over 30 employees. Our aim is to ‘transform lives and empower healthcare’. We knew that over the next decade, we would experience a golden era in healthcare, with information technology disrupting the sector in a major way. Our team is excited to pioneer this change and empower patients throughout the Asia Pacific region.What was the motivation to startup?
I wanted to leverage my decade long experience in the healthcare sector (after completing an MBA from Harvard Business School and MPA from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government) to make a significant and positive impact to society. At the time, my co-founders and I noticed that doctors in the region spend several thousand dollars a month in advertising in an unstructured and largely inefficient manner. We were clear that there was an opportunity to make a difference to doctors and patients in resolving this major pain point. We wanted to provide a structured, efficient and effective marketing platform for doctors at a fraction of the cost and at the same time, a free, convenient and helpful time-saver platform for patients.
Tell us something about your business model and the growth so far?
Our acquisition strategy uses a traditional, on-the-ground sales strategy to sign-up doctors and a multi-channel, multiple-country, multiple language approach to market to consumers via a mix of digital media as well as traditional media. DocDoc follows a tiered subscription model, that charges doctors a monthly fee for a range of marketing services that we provide for them. The goal is to create brand awareness for their medical practice and generate new/recurring patients more efficiently than they can do on their own.
Co-Founder Dr Dawn Soo leads our doctor acquisition and business development efforts, and we have over 29,000 doctor profiles currently listed on the platform, with over 1,600 key opinion leading certified physicians providing real-time appointments.
We see more than 500,000 users search for health-related information and healthcare services each month, making us the largest digital healthcare portal in Pan-Asia.
Give us a brief introduction to your team.
Besides Dr Dawn Soo and myself, the other co-founders are Max Scheichenost and Daniel Endres, who lead our patient acquisition efforts on the marketing and technology fronts and formerly co-founded DailyDeal (which they subsequently sold to Google for over $100M). Our CTO is a web pioneer and former CTO of Rakuten Shashinkan, who developed the Rakuten platform from scratch to over 70 million users.
What have the biggest challenges been?
There have been plenty of challenges or what I’d like to call opportunities on many levels including:
1. building a highly scalable platform, to expand throughout the region while customizing enough to make the service useful and relevant in the local markets,
2. fostering a company culture that embraces our values, and
3. keeping up with rapid changes to technology innovation.
Tell us a little about your funding.
We were able to leverage on our co-founder and Chairman, Cole Sirucek’s past experience and network built while at Temasek Holdings, where he made over US$500M in technology, media and telecom deals.
The first angel round was led by Mr Koh Boon Hwee (former Chairman of DBS bank, Singtel, and Singapore Airlines). Other investors include 500 Startups, Jungle Ventures and Michael Brehm (Founder of Rebate Networks, Business Angel of DailyDeal).
Lastly, tell us about your journey as a woman entrepreneur.
I delivered my first baby within a year of starting DocDoc! Being a new mom and starting a company with an audacious vision at the same time came with several challenges. My husband and I were fortunate to receive an outpouring of care from our local friends plus colleagues and co-founders who are truly exceptionally talented and dedicated, making it possible for me to lead DocDoc.
The journey has been about making the most of Singapore as the central hub of operations in Asia, hiring the best local staff, raising money from the right investors, rising to various challenges, overcoming day-to-day obstacles, and planning for the future.
I have also learnt that having a solid relationship with employees is critical, as they are the living, breathing extension of our online service. Creating the right work environment encourages the best performance, which endears customers to our brand. At the end of the day, that's what DocDoc is all about.
Company website: DocDoc
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