by Rose Powell, Australian Financial Review http://www.afr.com/
AirTree Ventures has added another company to its increasingly diverse portfolio after leading a $2.2 million dollar investment round into medical management software HotDoc.
The fund was launched by serial technology investors Daniel Petre and Craig Blair in 2014 to fill Australia’s notorious gap of funding available for multi-million dollar raises. It has now invested in nine companies.
“We’ve ended up investing earlier than we anticipated,” Mr Petre said. “A lot has changed in tech over the last few years and most of the businesses we’re interested in can go from series A like ours and the next round is in the tens of millions.”
The latest round in online appointment booking and health management software HotDoc was supported by NCN Investments.
Mr Petre said AirTree had been looking to invest in software businesses in the medical industry since launching the fund.
“It’s just so broken and slow, we knew it was ready for some movement. And the fact the founder is a doctor helped a lot, because he understands the industry,” Mr Petre said.
HotDoc was founded by Ben Hurst in 2012, after 18 months working as an emergency resident and psychiatry registrar at hospitals in Melbourne.
Dr Hurst came across rapidly growing US-based doctor booking and ratings startup ZocDoc while travelling in New York and returned to Australia to launch his own efficiency-boosting medical startup.
“Both of my parents were doctors, and I realised I could have more impact for health by helping to fix the system. We’re not trying to disrupt the medical industry; we’re trying to make it better and easier for everyone,” Dr Hurst said.
The HotDoc system has grown through partnerships with existing, larger practice management systems and healthcare groups, including Sonic Healthcare and Healthscope. They recently signed a partnership with Australia’s third-largest system, Zedmed, and are now working with about 3000 doctors.
“We’re working with about 10 per cent Australia’s doctors now, and targeting local, private practises to keep growing,” Dr Hurst said.
Dr Hurst said they had raised funds to be able to grow faster than they currently could and were attracted to AirTree as Mr Petre had served on the boards of a range of hospitals and medical schools.
The $2.2 million will go towards hiring sales staff and new product developers. HotDoc intends to expand its product beyond appointment bookings and reminders into a fully-fledged health management software.
“The way we invest means we don’t need companies to go global to exit with a good return,” Mr Petre said, although said HotDoc could expand globally with some modifications for each country.
“We’re confident about HotDoc’s growth and the team and expect to keep doing very well.”
Previous investments by AirTree Ventures include furniture ecommerce site Brosa, design software Canva, TidyMe, rostering software Ento, and pet-sitting service Pawshake and design marketplace DesignCrowd.