Curofy – “India’s Largest Community of Verified Doctors” is a platform that connects 100,000+ doctors in 600+ cities; offers latest news and updates, job opportunities and expand the visibility of doctors.
This startup feature on Curofy talks about the company, its founders and the vision that they have. The answers are provided by the co-founders.
Mudit is a dual degree graduate in chemical engineering from IIT Delhi. He worked with Axtira Inc on health informatics and analytics for an year before starting his own venture in healthcare.. He has been an active part of various entrepreneurial avenues like Jagriti Yatra, TIE, youth forums and draper university in silicon valley. He started an international think tank of students at IIT Delhi called ShARE present in prestigious colleges across 4 continents . He is passionate about sports and travelling . While at college, multiple internships with healthcare startups exposed him to the ground realities of the sector in India and that gave birth to Curofy.
Nipun is a B.Tech from IIT Delhi with major in Electrical Engineering and minor in Business Management. He worked with Rothschild India for 2 years on Mergers & Acquisitions and Private Equity Funding transactions. He is passionate about making digital health communication easier and more organised and likes to interact with various healthcare stakeholders.
Pawan is a B.Tech. in Electrical Engineering from IIT Delhi. He worked with Deutsche Bank for 2 years in Mumbai. He has an interesting mix of interests in technology and finance. He was a part of the Robotics Club and Entrepreneurship Development Cell at IIT Delhi. He represented IIT Delhi at the Stanford University Entrepreneurship Summit and also finished Runners-up in Elevator Pitch Challenge at the Summit. He started Economics Club at IIT Delhi to establish a platform for economics discussions among students and managed to gather support from eminent economists and financial institutions. He is passionate about online knowledge transfer and likes to spend his time on Quora and Coursera. He is also a travel buff and has spent considerable amount of time travelling across continents.
All three of us were part of different initiatives at our college and wanted to start something of our own. In the final year of college in 2012 during a midnight coffee break, the idea of starting something floated by and nobody ditched. We started a medical tourism company.
The business was lucrative and offered good margins too, but soon we figured out a bigger problem on which the medical tourism industry was thriving upon – the connectivity among doctors was lacking, thereby making collaborative patient care slow, inefficient and costly. It was then that we dropped the idea, took jobs with MNCs and continued researching about the concept of medical networking in India. Till May 2014, we met more than 1,000 doctors and the need was evident.
Curofy is India’s largest community of verified doctors. Over 100,000 doctors from 600+ cities are using Curofy to discuss difficult cases, read latest news and browse premium jobs.
Developed with an objective to become the digital world of doctors, Curofy offers them a spam-free environment to communicate with each other and provides them a support system with access to knowledge, jobs, devices and various resources that they need to become efficient in their practice.
Today with the emergence of corporate hospitals, the smaller hospitals and individual set ups are slowly but surely losing relevance. On one hand the corporate doctors have all their needs and latest technology at their disposal, there is a huge resource crunch in the smaller setups. We want to bridge the gap in the healthcare system.
Currently, doctors are using FB groups and WhatsApp to discuss cases and collaborate with each other, but the process is highly unorganised. The outlook is not professional and there is a significant data loss. More importantly, aspect of networking and reputation management is lost as the entire doctor community will never be active on one FB group or one WhatsApp group. Besides that, they are spammed on these platforms. That’s where relevance of Curofy comes into picture.
Also, on the medical industry side, even in today’s digital world, various healthcare stakeholders still rely on inefficient offline channels to create awareness about their innovations and services with the provider community. A highly engaged platform of doctors solves their problem as well.
Doctors can download the app from google and iOS store free of cost.
It’s been just 15+ months since the app launched, we have over 100,000 doctors on the platform. The company has also been approached by numerous pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, medical equipment manufacturers and other health care businesses for partnerships. We are connecting various stakeholders to the doctors in an non intrusive, value based system where the experience of the doctors gains top priority.
Curofy was featured as one of the most exciting startups to come out of Asia by TechinAsia. Curofy’s regular media mentions globally have generated interest from UAE, Pakistan, China, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Singapore and many more countries across the world. Today, there are about 2,500 international doctors from over than 80 countries, who are using Curofy actively. All the traffic coming from these countries is organic. However, we have been doing a few pilots by sourcing jobs from few other countries.
We are fundamentally a tech company and with our strong and robust technology, the product can be easily scaled. We have plans to go global very soon. However, we are concentrating on India at the moment.
The Business Model
Curofy is developed with an objective of providing non-intruding, spam free and organized network for doctors. Currently company’s focus is on building a high quality engaging network of doctors. In about 15 months of the launch, the company has been approached by numerous pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, medical equipment manufacturers and other health care businesses for partnerships. This clearly shows how valuable such a network can be for these players who spend billions of dollars to reach out to doctors.
Curofy is currently doing pilot with select players, where the app provides them chance to make their content available on this highly engaged network of doctors. For example, various hospitals (including St. John’s, Cygnus, Columbia Asia, Rockland, Fortis and Apollo) have been pushing jobs on the platform and are getting candidates through Curofy. Similarly, some medical devices and pharmaceutical players are benefiting by reaching out directly to interested doctors.
Every stake holder in the medical industry are looking to reach out relevant doctors. They are spending billions in the process. With a community of highly engaged doctors, Curofy can be a fantastic medium for these stakeholders to engage their potential users and get the word out. From surveys to product launches to even finding brand evangelist, Curofy is a huge opportunity waiting for the entire healthcare industry.
Over the last few months, we have monitored and tracked data patterns from daily activities of our users. We will use this data to make our app more personalized and offer even better experience to our users. We will empower doctors to save as many lives as possible by helping them coordinate with each other on difficult cases and doing timely referrals. We are fundamentally a tech company, and we will continue to improve our product.
Our first and foremost priority is to create engagement among doctors in India. We have recently moved from 25 specialties to 400 sub specialties to ensure that only relevant content is shown to doctors. This is increasing the engagement further. Our target to reach out to over 70% of 1.5 million Indian doctors in next couple of years. While penetrating deeply in Indian doctor community is a core focus, with time we will also expand globally with the help of local channel partners.
We have built Curofy to enable doctors to provide coordinated care to patients by keeping them abreast with latest medical advancements and providing them access to all the healthcare industry stakeholders. In essence, we want to be digital the world for doctors, and in doing so we can be the ultimate channel for the stakeholders for reaching out to the doctors.
From 5 doctors a day to even 1500 in a single day, the growth chart even in a stagnant industry like this is phenomenal. Curofy raised its Pre-series funding from Roundglass partners. Since then there has been no looking back.
In the last 3 months Curofy has added more than 35,000 doctors with 20,700 weekly active users who spend an average on 25 minutes on the app. 5,000+ cases are being discussed every month.
When we started with Curofy, our fundamental goal was to save as many lives as we can and we have been satisfied with our efforts in doing the same, lately. We have teamed up with our doctors and saved lives during the devastating Nepal earthquake and Chennai floods this very year. Also, the way that we connect doctors with other doctors, helps them get a second opinion on something that they are having a problem with; for instance, a critical case that a doctor is working upon can be posted on the app and the active users’ suggestions follow. Saving a huge number of lives has till date been the top most achievement of team Curofy.
Some other milestones are:
- Regularly ranked in Top 10 medical apps in India in Google Play Store
- First doctor only app to be ranked No. 1 in the medical category (23rd Dec 2015)
- Winner, Young Turks TiE The Knot (2nd edition)
- Winner, Google LaunchPad(3rd edition)
- Digital media partner of more than 10 National conferences
- Featured as one of the top 5 android apps for doctors by TOI
- Ranked as one of the best startups to look out from Asia by TechinAsia
- Awarded as Top Innovative Startup by IIT Delhi Alumni Association – 2014
Thoughts on biotech/healthcare startups
Health apps are undergoing fundamental changes in the way they are disrupting the industry. There is a surge in medical apps for doctors, which are trying to add value to the life of doctors. In future, the health app where doctors will spend maximum time will be able to influence digital health communication as the doctors are the gatekeepers of healthcare. Besides, certain changes will occur in online doctor discovery platform. This will be driven by social recommendations rather than listings. Thus, credibility becomes a key in this industry.
The latest developments in health apps will also improve the way medical representatives operate in the Industry. Features such as m detailing offered by health apps, helps both doctors and medical representatives to save time. Using such health apps, doctors will be able to connect with Pharma representatives according to their ease and at the same time, improving better coordination with them.
A report by Allied Market Research has projected 32.3 per cent CAGR of m Health market from 2013 to 2020. The valuation of the market is projected to reach $58.8 billion by 2020. Due to the large untapped demand in the Indian context for health-care services, the potential remains huge for health apps in the country.
Healthcare is a high margin industry but it’s a tuff nut to crack. There are a lot of grey areas in the regulations and hence understanding the functioning of the stakeholders is a must. Also the industry still dwells in the non-internet era and there is huge aversion from technology. These are the basic challenges. Once this inertia is overcome, the potential dividends are huge. Hence if you persevere and put your daily learnings to use, you will do great. The industry is due for it’s digital makeover. Be there when it happens.
Each day of our journey has been exciting. It feels really great to see the impact that we are creating in doctors’ lives and in the digital healthcare industry. Changing behaviour of an industry is very difficult and we have made some serious progress in this direction.