Need to see a doctor? This Nigerian company allows you to do it online
Wellvis is a Nigerian on-demand health information and service platform connecting individuals with verified and licensed health practitioners in real-time. The company was started in 2019. Co-founder Dr Wale Adeosun answers our questions.
1. Give us your elevator pitch.
Wellvis is building an easy-to-use peer-to-peer health information and service platform that offers a trusted and convenient solution for your health needs – whether it’s quick advice, consulting a doctor, or fulfilling a prescription. Wellvis wants to take the hassle and guesswork out of healthcare – at an affordable price.
We are building a comprehensive digital health platform that supports our customers throughout their health journey. We do this by providing access to licensed healthcare practitioners in real-time for advice and consultations. Our community of health seekers can then go ahead to schedule in-person appointments at clinics or labs, get access to disease management tools, join support groups or purchase health products and services from the marketplace, all via the Wellvis platform.
2. How did you finance your startup?
We are completely bootstrapped. Thankfully, all the co-founders are professionals in health or tech, so we were able to fund the project off the ground and continue to fund it till date. As of July 2020, we are still bootstrapping, however, we have had the privilege of winning some small grants.
I will use this opportunity to shout out our CTO, Segun Mustafa whose energy and direction has been very helpful and inspirational to everyone on the team, especially when we needed it the most.
We will, however, commence official fundraising shortly.
3. If you were given $1 million to invest in your company now, where would it go?
We are building a comprehensive telehealth platform; therefore an amount like this will give us significant leverage in optimising the platform, improve on and expand capabilities per our product roadmap, while also being able to comfortably hire competent people on to the team.
Most importantly, we will be able to commit a fair amount into user education and awareness which is a significant challenge that digital health startups generally face in Nigeria and across Africa. We presently have users from other parts of the continent, particularly in West Africa, but no official presence yet; we would also explore officially expanding our operations into these regions.
4. What risks does your business face?
Healthtech solutions work within the much bigger and general framework of health systems, and in my opinion, digital health solutions can only be as good and efficient as the health systems and as health-seeking behaviours of the population would allow it.
5. So far, what has proven to be the most successful form of marketing?
Strategic partnerships. The ability to use the existing distribution channels of mainstream partners with deeper pockets than you. It also helps to have a good product and an even better customer service.
6. Describe your most exciting entrepreneurial moment.
We created a self-assessment and reporting tool for Covid-19 – it was such a huge success. Over one million users of the tool to date and in June, the tool was officially adopted by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control to support the nation’s fight against coronavirus.
7. Tell us about your biggest mistake.
It isn’t exactly a mistake per se but when we started we underestimated how important user education is, especially when it comes to healthcare. What we have learnt is that user education is a rather strong component of marketing and subsequent adoption.
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