Doctolib, a little-known story
Meeting up on LinkedIn, joining forces and then going from 3 to 200 employees in the space of two years? This is the very real and a little crazy story of Doctolib, as recounted by its co-founder Jessy Bernal at the last Founder Dinner. This meeting format designed for the start-ups supported by NUMA invites a remarkable entrepreneur once a month, to hear an inspiring story and to give a kick-start to anyone striving for business success.
Jessy’s story fits the bill perfectly.
A graduate of EPITA, Jessy started his career at OCTO Technology. He tells us, very humbly, that he is none other than one of the founders of Massive Music Quiz. You’ve probably heard of this blind test game which brought together several million users in France.
Buoyed by this initial success, he then joined the teams at Skillstar, a project financed by the BetClic Everest Group, to develop the first Skillgames website, on which players can face each other live on television, via the Internet. The venture was not a success.
After a few months working as a freelancer, in 2013, Jessy was contacted via LinkedIn (note to self, update profile) by Stanislas Niox-Chateau who had an idea and was looking for co-founders.
His approach was both clear and surprising: Stanislas proposed to Jessy, and to his school friend Ivan, to “revolutionize the medical sector”.
After a few discussions, Jessy, Ivan and Stanislas began to work together.
The dream team was created, the success story could begin.
Genuine programming prodigies Jessy and Ivan developed an initial version of the product (the famous MVP) in a very short space of time while Stanislas perfected the business model. The principle of Doctolib is simple: making it easier to make an appointment with a healthcare professional.
+ Business model
+ Dream team
= Fund raising.
In the space of two years, the winning trio raised almost €23 million and hired more than 200 employees.
If this happens to you, what should you do?
You, too, could have your (updated) Linkedin profile consulted by a pioneer who asks you to revolutionize an outdated technology.
Jessy shared some tips with the entrepreneurs present at the dinner:
- Pay special attention to your recruitment: only hire the best, organise several interviews and ask applicants to complete tests. This is obvious but essential: success is very closely linked to the team you create.
- Define your culture: Jessy admits that it’s difficult to hold culture meetings when you only have a handful of team members. The exercise may appear artificial and there are many other urgent things to deal with. However, giving your start-up this foundation is essential: with it, the structure will stand tall and make great progress. Clearly, it works: Doctolib has taken giant steps. Defining your values means making them official, sharing them and providing group moments with employees (i.e. going out for a drink).
- Put processes in place. This is inevitable. For a start-up, processes are like props for small plants: totally superfluous at first but then absolutely essential for elegant, and above all efficient, growth.
- Forge ties as soon as possible with VCs. Don’t wait until you have a totally pampered product to pitch it to potential investors. Your users’ feedback is important, that of your potential shareholders is just as much.
- Be ready to step into the spotlight. You are now a rock star, that’s the way it’s going to be. So try to be nice to the crowds and find yourself some time to relax away from watchful eyes.
In short, it was really nice, simple and inspiring. Just the kind of chats which leave you full of energy. Thank you Jessy.
Doctolib: key dates and figures:
Launch date: October 2013
Raised funds: €23 million
References: 7000 healthcare providers, 220 clinics, 80 healthcare facilities
Audience: 3.5 million UV/month