People would prefer to go to doctors through referrals from individuals they trust but since the rise of popularity of patient booking platforms, using the web to find a doctor has become the new norm. But can you really trust an anonymous five-star review? According to Voro, the answer is explicitly “No.” Voro is the healthcare social network where individuals can share referral and reviews using their real names to guarantee the authenticity of the results. Voro is on a mission to help consumers navigate the field of healthcare by accessing high-quality, efficient medical care that ends up being less expensive in the long term; yielding better results for everyone including the provider and insurers.
AlleyWatch sat down with CEO and Cofounder Tomas Hoyos to learn about the genesis of the platform that is lifting the anonymity of healthcare reviews, the company’s future growth plans, and recent round of seed funding.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
Voro raised $2.5M in seed funding. FLOODGATE led the round with participation from entrepreneurs and investors like James Beshara (Airbnb and Tilt), Jenny Fielding (Techstars), Nat Turner and Zach Weinberg (Flatiron Health),Vivek Garipalli (Clover Health), Matt Scott( AVG Basecamp Fund) Greg Arrese (Ride Ventures), Thomas Lehrman (Teamworthy Ventures), Kevin Taweel and Gerald Risk (Asurion), Robin Shah (OneOncology), and others.
Tell us about the product or service that Voro offers.
Voro is the healthcare social network where people share doctor recommendations with their friends and neighbors.
Our mission is to inspire better health for people and communities everywhere.
When my partner tested positive for BRCA, a gene mutation which predisposes her to breast and ovarian cancer, I saw how useful it was for her to learn from other women with BRCA, and how empowering it was for her to have their support.
How is Voro different?
Voro is the first healthcare social network where people use their real names. By removing that layer of anonymity and connecting people, we hope to fight stigma and bring trust and transparency to healthcare.
Who do you consider to be your primary competitors?
Today, Voro resembles online health communities or social communication products like Facebook groups, GroupMe, or text threads with friends.
Sometimes Voro is compared to vertical search engines – insurance company websites, Yelp, ZocDoc, HealthGrades – but these websites aren’t networks and rely on star ratings and anonymous reviews.
What market does Voro target and how big is it?
Healthcare is a nightmare to navigate as a consumer and every year more than $300B is wasted on low-quality or ill-advised medical care. This is the market we’re targeting.
What’s your business model?
Voro is aligning the incentives of consumers and the companies that pay for the majority of healthcare: insurers and employers. Voro will help consumers access high-quality, efficient medical care that is less expensive in the long term.
Over time, employers and insurers will provide information on doctor quality and cost to our users. When people use that data to pick higher-quality and lower-cost doctors, Voro will share in the savings.
What was the funding process like?
We’re excited to be working with our dream investor group. As first-time founders, we’re grateful for all the help and guidance we received along the way. Like most successful fundraising processes, this one required preparation, resilience, and confidence.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
Investors who deeply understand consumer products, network effects, and healthcare business models are rare. Taking time to find the right investor group was worth it, and now Voro has some of the world’s best consumer, healthcare entrepreneurs, and investors on our team.
Taking time to find the right investor group was worth it, and now Voro has some of the world’s best consumer, healthcare entrepreneurs, and investors on our team.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
I think our investors were inspired by the mission, believed in the team, and recognized how massive an opportunity Voro has ahead of it.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
Voro plans to grow the network, hire world-class software engineers, and build a mobile app.
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
Fundraising is hard and you’re going to hear “no.” Don’t get discouraged, learn as quickly as you can, and keep going!
What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?
Malatesta Trattoria – best pasta in the West Village!