Working in the Healthtech sector requires rapid adaption, passion in novel technology, and above all, a keen (focused) eye. Afterall, the field of Healthtech is exploding and it is easy to become overwhelmed in such an exciting field.
With all the bustle happening in the field, it is hard to decipher what will become a Healthtech champion and what will remain as a forgotten app on one‘s smart phone. Heal Capital is a VC that was created to cut through all this noise to find companies revolutionising health.
Looking for a revolutionary approach to us means rewriting the entire patient journey. Thus, our search began and led us to identify a new category of companies we’ve coined as Vertically Integrated Micro-Provider (VIMPROs). These models, pioneered by US players like Hims and Ro, comprehensively solve a specific patient pain point with a focus on user experience, convenience, and comprehensive, high-quality clinical care. They do this by creating a trusted healthcare brand that offers a combination of telemedicine enabled clinical care alongside personalised treatment plans which often consisting of own-brand medication, products and therapy delivered directly to patients on a subscription basis. For more information, check out our previous article here.
We have been carefully watching the Healthtech sector in Europe to find high-potential VIMPROs and today we have decided to share some companies we are particularly excited about! We think each of these 5 European companies showcases a key strength VIMPROs require in order to succeed. All the information gathered here has been taken from public websites. Thus, in no particular order:
Daye is an exciting Femtech focused VIMPRO. Daye is first focusing on closing with the ‘gender pain gap’, looking to bridge the research and innovation gap that exists in gynae health. What impressed us about Daye is the strength of their VIMPRO product innovation engine. Their first product, evidence-backed CBD infused pain-relieving tampons identified a key unmet need in the market and is already improving women’s lives, receiving ecstatic reviews. The next product, proviotics to improve vaginal health is also making waves. Over the next five years it will build a portfolio of products to enable women to understand, monitor and improve her menstrual, sexual, hormonal, and reproductive health. Key to a successful VIMPRO strategy is the ability to build truly innovative products that meet unmet needs and Heal Capital is very excited to see what will follow!
Formel Skin is a German-based skincare VIMPRO that is revolutionising direct-to-consumer Dermatology in Germany starting with science-backed solutions for Acne. Key to the companies burgeoning success is their key strength in offering uniquely personalised treatments for each user. The service starts off by asking the user on their skincare history, key problem areas, and for a picture of their skin. From there, a dermatologist creates a personalised skincare product that is manufactured specifically for you and sent directly to your doorstep. As you begin your skincare journey, a dermatologist will keep in touch and make any necessary changes to your skincare formula, creating the best possible solution for you! By offering a personalised product to customers, Formel Skin is creating loyalty, stickiness and differentiation while bringing value to its customers.
Numan is an innovative UK-based VIMPRO launched nearly three years ago. Having started in erectile dysfunction and hair loss, the company is expanding to encompass the full range of male health needs including blood testing, acid reflux, and smoking cessation. What really makes this VIMPRO stand out is its clear commitment to build a full-stack care platform rather than just an ecommerce brand as evidenced by its recent acquisition of Swedish care platform Vi-Health, adding additional telemedicine functionalities. In doing so, it is clearly on its way to providing men with quality clinical care on subjects that remain personal and difficult to them. By becoming a genuine alternative healthcare provider, we believe VIMPROs can deliver improved patient outcomes at scale which will drive long-term value and are super excited to see Numan push in this direction!
Impress is a Spanish-dental VIMPRO that provides personalized diagnosis and treatment to give an individual their perfect smile using aligners. They do so by offering in-person X-rays and 3D scans at their physical dental clinics to provide a personalised, digitally supported treatment and aftercare plan. Sometimes what distinguishes a VIMPRO is clear operational excellence and Impress has managed to grow it physical clinics into over 55 cities in Spain as well as launching in Italy, Portugal and UK all since launching in 2019. The start-up is growing rapidly and showcases one of the key attributes that any VIMPRO needs to have, excellence in execution. In doing so, companies like Impress can catch-up to the bigger players in the space and keep one step ahead of nascent competition!
Thriva is a UK health diagnostic VIMPRO that embraces the growing trend of empowered patients. The diagnostics they sale include subscription tests for issues like iron, testosterone, cholesterol and vitamins and one-off tests for thyroid, PCOS and other hormones. This data is used to create a personalised health plan mobilising nutrition and lifestyle changes to improve wellbeing in problem areas. Thriva showcases that VIMPROs can be used to drive engagement and uptake of preventative healthcare. Given 80% of chronic diseases are thought to be preventable, this is a critical piece of the puzzle for our healthcare system’s sustainability. 76% of Thriva users report that they achieved improvements in at least one biomarker, we are excited by how VIMPROs can drive long-term prevention and in doing so drive down overall healthcare costs. This may well be key to enable VIMPROs to unlock B2B2C channels in future.
As previously noted, those in the field of Healthtech need passion for novel tech and a keen eye. We believe that each of these five companies showcases a unique strength or capability that VIMPRO companies need to have in order to become true alternative care platforms.
We’re always keen to discuss these models so whether you are building a VIMPRO platform company or want to discuss the model further, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Additionally, join us in our VIMPRO roundtable event planned in the coming months. Be sure to keep an eye on our LinkedIn and Twitter for more details on the event!
Special mention: We wanted to focus on Europe but, although its outside of this article’s focus, in our excitement we could not resist sharing what in our view a particularly exciting US-based company that is pushing the VIMPRO model into new indication areas. We believe this type of company should exist in Europe!
Cerebral was established to address the massive gap that exists in mental health, focusing on improving access to high quality care. Cerebral has established itself as a VIMPRO focused on these growing metal health demands. It provides comprehensive care via video/phone appointments with a provider, ongoing Care Counsellor sessions and medication delivery (if prescribed) all in monthly subscription packages. Cerebral demonstrates that this VIMPRO model has huge potential in a wide-range of indication areas beyond those that have been addressed by the big US-pioneers like Hims and Ro. Heal Capital is excited that Cerebral could demonstrate that the VIMPRO model is a credible path to becoming a mental health titan.