Emerging Entrepreneurs

A consulting room for doctors

N Ramakrishnan | Updated on January 17, 2018 Published on August 22, 2016

NIPUN GOYAL



The three of them worked on a medical tourism venture while at college. They found the margins quite good, but realised there was hardly any technology involved. They wanted to create something related to healthcare using technology. That is how the three – Nipun Goyal, Pawan Gupta and Mudit Vijayvergiya – founded Curofy, a mobile platform for doctors to connect with peers, seek a second opinion, share the latest articles/literature on medicine and post their requirements.

But shortly thereafter, the three friends from IIT-Delhi went their separate ways, shutting their medical tourism business. Nipun and Pawan went to Mumbai and joined the investment and merchant banking sectors, while Mudit stayed behind in Delhi and joined a pharma consulting company. Even while they were working for someone else, the trio discussed and chalked out plans for their venture.

Over two years, says Nipun, they met various players in the healthcare sector and found out that while the stakeholders – pharmaceutical companies, medical devices makers, hospitals, distributors of medicines and devices, and patients – were online, doctors were not. It was because doctors did not have the time and they were worried that they would get spammed.₹

“We narrowed our focus on how we could make doctors get online and why they were not online right now,” says Nipun. They continued with their interviews of doctors, meeting nearly 1,000 of them in Delhi and Mumbai, and found that doctors would like to be on an online platform provided they received only relevant information. Another finding was that doctors preferred to hang out with peers even after work; they even planned their family holidays with their doctor friends and their families, he adds.

Nipun and his other co-founders decided to make something exclusive for doctors and the larger medical community. This would solve all the three problems – give them more comfort, eliminate spam messages, and only throw up issues and articles of relevance to their speciality.

Initially, Curofy started off with a directory feature after which came an app that got more doctors hooked on to the platform. When they had about 5,000 doctors on the platform, they found that a lot of peer-to-peer discussion was taking place, which was their original objective.

Curofy, according to Nipun, is an ecosystem for doctors who don’t have an ecosystem they can relate to. It connects doctors with other doctors, puts pharma and medical device companies in touch with doctors. The founders put in about ₹10 lakh of their own money to start the venture in May 2014 and raised about ₹1 crore from a few angel investors. In September 2015, Curofy raised $1-2 million from US-based venture capital firm RoundGlass Partners.

According to Nipun, Curofy gets its income from pharma and medical devices companies that use the platform to connect with doctors; they also provide content in the form of informative articles. “We have a medical team that firewalls the content and we make sure that the content is informative enough,” says Nipun.

Curofy has more than one lakh doctors on the platform and apart from expanding to more cities in India and getting into smaller towns, the venture is looking at international expansion. Over the next two years, Curofy plans to have about four lakh doctors using the platform. It is also looking to raise about $5 million, though discussions haven’t started, and will strengthen the team, says Nipun.

Curofy has tried out the app in Turkey and the UAE and is fixing some technical glitches before it expands in those countries. After that, it will look to get into more countries.

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Published on August 22, 2016
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