Pedro Faria (left), partner at Kamaroopin, Renato Velloso, CEO at dr. consultation, Thomaz Srougi, founder and chairman of the board of dr. consultation, and Bruno Tupinambá, partner at Kamaroopin
Founded in 2011, Dr. consultation popularized the format of accessible clinics in the country. However, if the company took the lead in this model, in recent years, it stopped surfing the growing wave of investments in health startups in the country.
In 2021 alone, the segment attracted a total investment of US$ 3.7 billion, according to the Distrito innovation hub, against US$ 1.7 billion in 2020. On the other hand, the last investment raised by the company, of US$ 50 million and led by the American fund Madrone Capital, was released in 2018.
Now, after a hiatus of more than four years, Dr. consultation is breaking this “silence”. And with a check sir. The company has just announced the raising of a series D of R$ 170 million, led by Brazilian Kamaroopin.
The round also included the participation of Madrone Capital and Lightrock, which was also already investing in the operation. The company’s captable also includes names like Kaszek Ventures, Belfer Management, LTS Investments and names like Marc Benniof (Salesforce), David Vélez (Nubank) and José Galló (Renner).
“We were unhurriedly looking for someone who had a similar vision of a health ecosystem”, says Renato Velloso, CEO of dr.consulta, to the NeoFeed. “This relationship started about a year ago. Since then, we’ve sat down and built a three-year business plan.”
The time for the relationship to take hold was also ideal for Kamaroopin, which has startups such as Petlove and Zenklub in its portfolio. During this period, the manager had 40% of its operation purchased by Pátria Investimentos and the investment in Dr. consultation is the first of the new fund raised after this association with the private equity manager.
“What caught our attention was Dr. consultation to deepen its semi-vertical health model and also the company’s stage of advancement”, says Pedro Faria, founding partner of Kamaroopin, to the NeoFeed. “We haven’t seen anyone as well positioned as they are in the market.”
The model to which Faria refers goes beyond the one through which dr. query became known. While staying out of the spotlight with regard to new investments, the company incorporated its clinics and also set foot in the secondary and tertiary health care segments.
This package translated into fronts such as the construction of a healthtech footprint, heavily based on its own electronic medical record, with data from 4.5 million patients treated, and a structure with around 1,500 doctors, more than 60 specialties and a range of exams.
The most recent step came in December 2021, with the purchase of a 27.5% stake in the startupcuidado.me. With the agreement, the company entered into health plans and began to offer access to more complex care through 21 hospitals, including Samaritano and Santa Joana.
Today, access to this ecosystem takes place through three formats. Single consultations in the clinic network; the card dr. consultation, with a monthly subscription of R$ 33 and discounts on consultations and medications; and the health plans, whose monthly fees start at R$69, restricted to hospital care, and the complete plan, whose initial floor is R$169.
The transition was not made, however, without noise. The market came to doubt the company’s strength, especially in October 2019, when founder Thomaz Srougi left the post of CEO and the day-to-day of the operation to take over as chairman of the board, being replaced by Renato Velloso.
In 2021, Dr. consultation reported revenue of BRL 310 million
The company’s figures for 2021, however, show that the operation is healthy. According to the company, revenue in the period was R$ 310 million, with a positive EBITDA margin. And it is the founder himself who seeks a global reference to give a measure of what was built in that interval.
“We have a hybrid model, with our own technology, health plan, monthly fee and out of pocket (users without subscription), as well as One Medical”, says Srougi to the NeoFeed, citing the health care company acquired at the end of June of this year by Amazon, for the trifle of US$ 3.9 billion. “The difference is that they serve the high income and our footprint is much more to expand access to those who are unprotected.”
With the contribution and focus on reinforcing recurrence in this ecosystem, one of the priorities is precisely health plans, based oncuidado.me. In five months from the launch of the first options, this operation accounts for 7 thousand lives. The projection is to close 2022 with more than 12 thousand beneficiaries.
To reach these numbers, one of the recent innovations was the launch of plans aimed at small companies, in the average range of up to 29 lives per company. Among the next steps, already under management, are the expansion of this range, up to 100 lives, and the entry into corporate plans.
“We have already achieved good organic growth and, until now, we have been very timidly attacking our own base”, says Velloso. “We are investing in our marketing team and in CRM to begin to better explore this universe.”
Another area that is being reinforced is technology, which currently has around 100 employees, including developers and product professionals. Here, the idea is to give even more weight to algorithms that involve a wide scope, from defining the scale of doctors in each unit to identifying chronic patients, reducing claims and capturing and retaining patients.
“One of the pillars will be the investment in personalization of health”, observes Bruno Tupinambá, partner at Kamaroopin. “The plan is to identify how to use the individualized and anonymized data to understand what is best for each patient and scale up the line of care.”
Another part of the three-year plan includes expanding the network of physical call centers. At first, the projection is to leave the current 30 clinics for a base of 45 units in this range. The focus will continue on São Paulo and the metropolitan region.
“Our projection is to increase revenue by five times in this period and the expansion will follow this demand”, says Velloso. “And with the health plan, we will probably need other types of centers that we don’t have at our base today, with structures, for example, for emergencies, infusions and dialysis.”
As she draws and executes her plans, Dr. consultation is not the only one building an ecosystem with an eye on gaining space in the health insurance market from users who are currently unattended by the more traditional offers in the sector.
Among the competitors in this dispute are healthtechs also capitalized. These are the cases of Sami, which received a contribution of R$ 110 million, from DN Capital, and Alice, which raised US$ 127 million in a round led by Softbank. The two investments were announced in December 2021.
There is still room for names such as QSaúde and more traditional names, such as Grupo Sabin, which, also at the end of last year, bought 100% of the operation of the Amparo Saúde clinic network.