Patient21, a four-year-old German startup that combines a digital healthcare platform with real brick-and-mortar clinics, has raised €100 million ($108 million) in a Series C funding round led by Israeli venture capital firm Pitango. which form a mix of equity and debt.
Founded in Berlin in 2019, Patient21’s platform covers virtually the entire patient cycle, from online bookings to digital case histories, check-ins, billing, insurance and more.
While telemedicine has seen an upward trend in recent years, accelerated somewhat by the global pandemic, Patient21’s platform is notable in that it not offer a remote healthcare option like its US counterpart Carbon Health. Instead, the company has developed proprietary software for patient management and then sends them to the more than 50 outpatient clinics across Germany.
This is partly because Patient21 is largely focused on dentistry for now, with over 80% of clinics currently focusing on oral health, with the rest split between gynecology and general practices.
“Dentistry inherently requires face-to-face consultation for comprehensive diagnosis and treatment,” Chris Muhr, co-founder and CEO of Patient21, told Acutely.info. “The nature of dentistry involves visually inspecting oral health, using diagnostic tools such as X-rays and addressing emergencies quickly. These aspects are best served by on-site consultation to ensure the highest standards of care.
The company says it currently handles more than 300,000 patient visits per year and plans to expand into other areas of healthcare in the future – after which it could expand into virtual healthcare.
“As we continue to expand and develop our presence in human medicine, we are actively exploring the integration of telehealth solutions into our offerings,” said Muhr.
It is worth noting that Patient21’s software is multi-faceted, with only one side being the patient-centric app. Indeed, the company also has an app for doctors and a management system for the clinic.
“In an industry increasingly constrained by staffing shortages, an aging healthcare workforce and an increase in chronic diseases, our focus is on supporting healthcare professionals and ensuring their time is used as wisely as possible,” continued Muhr. “We have developed a suite of clinic-focused software that meets the needs of our healthcare professionals and local clinics — it frees our clinical teams from tedious administrative tasks so they can focus on what they do best: taking care of patients.”
Patient21 had previously raised about €66 million ($71 million) in funding, and with its new cash injection, it said it plans to grow and expand its software beyond Germany. “We expect to launch in two new European markets within the next 12 months,” Muhr noted.
Opening brick-and-mortar clinics instinctively seems like a labor-intensive endeavor as well, but Muhr said his clinics have become “operationally profitable” fairly quickly.
“As a result, we are growing with minimal equity investment needed to roll out new clinics,” he said. “So most of the funding goes to software development to further enhance our platform capabilities.
In addition, there could be room for Patient21 to license its booking and patient management software in the future.
“In the long run, we believe there will be an opportunity to form partnerships or run clinics in the form of a franchise model, offering franchisees software and services that are unique in the market,” added Muhr.
The company’s Series C round was mostly equity – we’re told “more than 70%” – and aside from lead backer Pitango, participants included PICO Venture Partners, Bertelsmann Investments, Artian, Target Global, Piton Capital and several angel investors. The debt segment was provided by IPT Partners.