Investment Notes: Carepatron
We've invested in the pre-seed round for Carepatron, a Kiwi-founded startup building the world's most beautiful digital workspace for health providers
Today, we're excited to share a new investment from our latest NZ Fund - Carepatron.
Carepatron’s founders, Jamie Frew and David Pene (Ngāti Kahu ki Whangaroa, Ngāi Tūhoe), are building the world's most beautiful digital workspace for health providers. By offering amazing tools to help clinicians run their practices, Carepatron’s mission is to save them more than two hours every day in administrative burden, allowing Carepatron customers to spend more time where it matters: helping patients.
In less than a year since launching, and with minimal paid marketing, Carepatron has developed a community of hundreds of active users across more than 9 countries.
Carepatron’s product experience combines the best of Vend, Timely, MINDBODY, Notion, and Zoom, packaged up with healthcare-specific trappings (like HIPAA compliance) to supercharge clinician productivity.
Software is eating small business productivity
An exciting category of software has emerged in recent years: consumer-grade (beautiful), vertical-specific, business management + embedded payment SaaS, for small businesses (SMBs).
Think Toast (restaurants), PlanGrid (construction), and MINDBODY (fitness studios).
These products offer a consolidated, cohesive experience that represents a serious upgrade from the status quo. If they’re not still using pen & paper, SMBs are usually managing across not-quite-fit-for-purpose horizontal tools like Excel and Gmail; alongside paid-for point solutions that only do one thing each (scheduling; subscription management; payments processing; VOIP calling). Plus, any industry-specific solutions they need to do business effectively. All in all, it’s a fragmented user experience, and it costs SMBs more time and money than it should.
Despite the emergence of digital workspaces aimed at other verticals, no one app to replace them all exists for SMBs working in healthcare.
Deep empathy for the problem
Carepatron's founders are Jamie (CEO) and David (CTO). Their life experience has taught them how poorly-served health professionals are by software.
While he was growing up in Tauranga, New Zealand, Jamie's family ran a rest-home and hospice. His after-school jobs included providing treatments to residents. This early experience gave him deep empathy for health providers delivering care on the front line.
Jamie later married a clinical psychologist, and saw that the tools available to clinicians in her vital field were far less effective and user-friendly than what he enjoyed as a strategy executive at a large corporate.
For his part, David spent 7 years’ at Xero (an accounting software platform and one of New Zealand’s most well known unicorns), most recently as a Senior Software Developer, building products for small businesses of all kinds. His partner, a doctor, had a similar experience to Jamie’s: of health software that added more frustration than it did in productivity gains.
Jamie and David put their heads and experiences together. The idea for Carepatron was born.
They interviewed more than 750 healthcare professionals about their experiences with technology and found that:
- The majority of health practice management is done in a manual way, by piecing together single feature products like Microsoft Word for client notes, gmail for client communications, Excel spreadsheets for tracking appointments and outstanding bills…
- Unsurprisingly, clinicians they spoke to who work in this way spend approximately 3 hours per day on practice management and administration - time that could be better spent with patients.
- They observed an overarching trend towards care being delivered in decentralised settings (outside the hospital), and becoming more preventive in nature - and with it, an opportunity to equip independent practices with better tools.
One product to replace them all
Carepatron is all-in-one practice management software for SMB healthcare providers: think chiropractors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and health coaches with 1 - 20 staff.
Despite practicing different disciplines, these groups of users capture the same kind of information in the same way at the same time with the same intent. Their product needs are very similar: secure client notes, client tracking, workflow management, scheduling, appointment reminders, billing and payments.
We love product-obsessed founders, and Jamie and David have a clear philosophy about how they are building for this customer group:
- "We build proof-of-concept products that are lovable, put them in customers' hands, then seek customer feedback and refine them"
- "We don't rebuild things that people already enjoy using, like gmail, Zoom, Xero. Instead, we integrate them. We don't want to be combative with tools our customers get a lot of value from"
They have prioritised simple but meaningful features that competitors don't offer, and through this aim to become the always-open tab on their customers’ phone or browser. By starting simple with core pieces of the practice management workflow, they will earn the right to layer in more functionality over time. Having only launched Carepatron to the world in October 2021, this is early days for the product and Jamie and David are only just getting started.
We are really excited to welcome the Carepatron team to the Blackbird whānau, and to be supporting them on their journey to supercharge hundreds of thousands of health professionals around the world with lovable practice management software.