The Vienna-based company is reinventing personalized healthcare and is a textbook case for outlier potential. Take a stellar team with a clear value proposition, add a huge market, plus favorable macro trends and market timing, et voilà! But enough shallow praising, let’s jump into detail.
Fredrik and Sebastian are a winning combo.
Fredrik Debong is a serial healthcare entrepreneur with a 9-digit exit under his belt. The sale of his diabetes tracking solution to Roche was, in fact, one of the landmark success stories in recent Austrian tech history. Fredrik breathes healthcare and wakes up every morning to transform patients’ everyday life and improve overall outcomes. With hi.health, his new aspiration is quite simply to redefine how personalized healthcare works.
This is where Sebastian Gruber comes in. With over 7 years at McKinsey & Company, he is the indispensable process man putting the economic model behind. Having worked with challenging business problems around the world, he now solves the complex puzzle hi.health is tackling. On top of that, the two happen to be personal friends for more than a decade. This just feels right.
The reimbursement process of healthcare expenses is outdated, inefficient and painful for every patient. As you might have experienced, when visiting your doctor, pharmacy, or physiotherapist, you front the cash before claiming a reimbursement.
That’s where things generally start getting ugly. We are talking about confusing online (and offline!) processes, intransparency of entitlements and days/weeks of delay to get your money back. It’s tedious, cumbersome and costly. Enter hi.health: by handling the process of filing the claims to your insurance from start to finish, it already bites off a large chunk of the pain. But that’s not all! The company is also developing a solution to completely remove the upfront payment from the equation, which would allow the full disappearance of the reimbursement process from the patient’s point of view.
Leveraging this proximity to the patient and its records, the end goal is to evolve as the epicenter of patient healthcare processes and be able to deliver better-personalized healthcare. In a nutshell, hi.health will become the missing connector between patients, health insurance providers, and health care providers. [And, as I assume you’re questioning it: yes, it is GDPR compliant and yes, data privacy is a core value at hi.health.]
The private health insurance market is a trillion-dollar opportunity globally, adding up to more than EUR 130bn in Europe alone. And that will likely continue to grow in the coming years.
Money and attention are shifting towards digital health: For example, 77% of patients want to pay their insurance bills online. Facilitating payments will become an increasingly crucial access point into the health space for B2C companies and younger generations already today expect health providers to up their digital game.
Furthermore, regulations are opening up (Germany’s DVG), providers are increasingly concerned about customer satisfaction and patient outcomes, and as such are more willing to collaborate with digital solutions that go their way. From a pure investment standpoint, VC money has been steadily increasing its impact in healthcare over the past decade.
We are seeing the emergence of next-gen players that are connecting different stakeholders in the healthcare system, leveraging data to deliver better patient outcomes, and provide the patient with an experience that resembles digitally more advanced areas of life.
First of all, we are excited to see that earlier backers, including our friends at Seedcamp and some prominent angels committed to double down in the Seed round. Secondly, we are enthusiastic to co-lead the round with Pacific 8 Ventures, a US-based health-tech VC (notably, hi.health is their first investment outside the US!). We are looking forward to building a category leader at the intersection of digital health, fintech, and insurtech. Stay tuned for more!
PS: If you’re based in Germany and have to claim your reimbursements for private health insurance, don’t lose time and choose their online, iOS or Android solution — and let them handle the reimbursement hassle for you!
PPS: Excited to support hi.health together with my colleague Felix Fein. We also wrote that blog post together (well, in fact, Felix did most of the heavy lifting. Thank you!)