French startup KelDoc is raising $1.4 million (€1 million) from Alven Capital and business angels. KelDoc is what you could call a ZocDoc for Europe. But managing doctor appointments is a very regulated market, and KelDoc has a deep understanding on how this kind of service needs to be adapted to the French and European markets.
At heart, KelDoc is a website and smartphone app to look and find the right doctor for you. You can then browse his or her calendar to book an appointment. It doesn’t cost anything for the patient, but doctors need to pay $270 (€200) per month to use KelDoc.
Co-founder and CEO Eduardo Ronzano has an interesting background as well. He was born in Spain, studied in the U.K. and now lives in France. In other words, he knows how to do business in Spain, the U.K. and France. He also has both engineering and business degrees. You can call Ronzano the swiss army knife of European entrepreneurs.
Even more interesting, Ronzano was working at fundraising firm Global Equities when French startup Joliebox got acquired by Birchbox. He knows what it’s like to compete with a bigger startup in the same space on another continent.
When Ronzano started KelDoc, he wanted a board to challenge him and keep him on track. Among other people, Bart Dessaint joined the board. Dessaint now works for Andreessen Horowitz, which is totally unrelated with KelDoc but a funny coincidence — the startup is probably the only French company with an Andreessen Horowitz partner at its board.
Compared to other French competitors, KelDoc is the one who works the most within legal contraints. You can be sure that nobody will ever find out whether you’re taking a lot of doctor appointments.
In addition to that, KelDoc has spent a lot of time developing plugins for existing doctor calendars and CRMs. This way, when a doctor uses KelDoc, he or she doesn’t have to do anything but install the plugin. When someone books an appointment, it will appear in the calendar right away. Similarly, if a doctor needs to move an appointment, the patient will receive a text alerting him or her of the change.
And it’s working. 160,000 people have visited the website so far, and more than 10,000 appointments were made through KelDoc. Even more important, many doctors are switching to KelDoc. Between the first quarter and the second quarter of 2014, 50 percent more doctors signed up to KelDoc.
“KelDoc now has a very good reputation and many doctors are spreading the word,” Alven Capital partner Jeremy Uzan told me in a phone interview.
It’s clear that KelDoc will expand outside of France in the coming months. “The company is doing well and could have continued without this new funding round,” Uzan said. And Ronzano doesn’t hide it either. “We want to expand,” he said. “My ambition is really to expand in Europe.” Yet, KelDoc’s main challenge is that it needs to be faster than ZocDoc when it comes to taking over the European market.