The Israeli medical care and travel startup, Air Doctor, has raised $20 million in a Series A funding round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, with participation from Vintage Investment Partners, Munich Re Ventures, The Phoenix, and Kamet Ventures.
Get connected to a doctor, anytime, anywhere
Recall early 2020. There is a strange virus spreading throughout the globe. As cases rise, and public health dwindles, the world is slowly realizing that SARS-Co-V-2, which we now refer to as COVID-19, isn't going anywhere, anytime soon. The world at large was facing a deadly pandemic. With the outbreak, the global community faced unanticipated consequences, both to our health and our economy. It saw unprecedented rules and regulations, in hopes of keeping the virus at bay- and part of those regulations was on travel. The travel and tourism sector experienced a severe economic slowdown because of stringent quarantine regulations and travel restrictions.
Though over two years later, COVID-19 still lingers, rules and regulations have lightened, and international travel is now a possibility– and many are trying to make up for the lost time. According to the World Economic Forum’s recent survey, the travel industry is expected to fully recover by 2024. But travellers are still a bit wary due to the virus, and the possibility of catching it while abroad. Receiving adequate medical assistance while travelling has become a major concern for travellers, and insurers, alike. Moreover, many countries have actually mandated travel insurance coverage. And so, there is a greater demand for suitable, better travel insurance; there is a need to expand the offerings of digital, physical, and online healthcare coverage and solutions to provide an improved customer experience and reduce claim costs. The pandemic has essentially forced the industry to reassess medical treatment available for travellers.
Air Doctor, the Israeli startup, is meeting that demand by addressing the major pain point for the health and travel insurance industry; it has digitized a significant aspect of the travel experience: medical insurance. The Air Doctor platform connects travellers who fall ill abroad with local private doctors through an easy-to-use mobile and web app. So, now if travellers get sick, or let’s say, test positive for the Coronavirus, they can seek medical care in the local communities they are in, rather than in hospitals. Air Doctor’s outpatient medical network covers 74 countries and includes over 20,000 medical professionals who provide either in-person or telemedicine consultations. It thereby provides travellers with peace of mind and aims to make healthcare accessible to everyone, everywhere, so travellers have greater assurance and can enjoy their trip more.
In a conversation with Geektime, Air Doctor co-founder and CEO, Jenny Cohen Derfler, explained to us the effect the pandemic had on their company. “The platform was launched 2 years before the pandemic with The Phoenix insurance company in Israel. Phoenix reported a significant improvement in their Travel business profitability (about 30%) as a result of the introduction of the Air Doctor solution. This improvement was the consequence of a significant reduction in their loss ratio and an increase in their market share. But during the pandemic, 2 wonders happened. The first is that many insurers and OTA’s around the world understood that there is a compelling need for the Air Doctor digital solution and signed contracts with us. The second change points to our adaptation to the new circumstances COVID-19 brought on, which was the addition of the telemedicine solution for people that are reluctant to go to health clinics or public health providers.”
He went on to explain that though during 2019, pre-pandemic, 95% of the users in need of medical treatment used the Air Doctor platform (native apps or web app), they realized that customers demonstrated a strong need for an online digital solution. When they decided to incorporate that into their platform, they started seeing exponential growth. “Starting February 2022, we already achieved the same level of revenues as in 2019 and the number of users is growing from week to week consistently. The growth expected for the next 3 years is exponential from year to year. Every month a new business partner is deployed and launches Air Doctor,” Cohen Derfler concluded. With that in mind, it is important to note that Air Doctor has become one of the fastest-growing startups, with tens of thousands of registered users and many more accessing the network worldwide. Their product is unique and distinctive and there is almost no competition worldwide.
With the capital raised, Air Doctor plans to scale the company and grow its global footprint. They plan to hire new employees and open additional offices internationally, expand the product and marketing teams and the vetted medical professional network, build their partner and investor network, and boost their R&D capabilities and end-user activation by onboarding more developers to work on product customization.
Air Doctor was founded in 2018 by Jenny Cohen Derfler (CEO), Efrat Sagi Ofir (CRO), Yam Derfler (VP Innovation and Network), and Yegor Kurbachev (VP R&D). They employ over 60 people based in Israel and Europe and have raised $27.8 million to date.