Doctolib, the Paris-based startup that helps patients find doctors and schedule appointments, has raised $20.5 million to help it expand into six new European countries.
In addition to fueling new growth, the latest investment demonstrates the kind of maturity that France’s boosters hope to see more of from its growing startup economy.
Stanislas Niox-Chateau, the company’s cofounder and current chief executive, was previously at Otium Capital. He describes Otium as France’s “Rocket Internet,” in that it was incubating and then spinning out its own startups.
These were a series of startups focused on various types of bookings, including La Forchette (for restaurants), Weekendesk (for short vacations), Balinea (for spas), and Camping and Co (for camping).
TripAdvisor bought La Forchette last year. And now Niox-Chateau is focused on building Doctolib. The latest round also included investments from Bertrand Jelensperger, cofounder and CEO of La Forchette, as well as from Nicolas Brusson, a cofounder of France’s BlaBlaCar.
Since launching, Doctolib has signed up 5,000 doctors and 100 clinics and is being used by 2 million patients every month. Niox-Chateau said Doctolib wants to consolidate is leadership in France, as well as launch across Europe, with Germany, Spain and Italy high on the list of targets.
Looming on the horizon is competition with ZocDoc, the New York-based doctor scheduling service that raised $130 million in August at a $1.8 billion valuation. ZocDoc operates mainly in the U.S., but has also expanded to India, where it’s competing with Lybrate, which raised $10.2 million back in July.
Niox-Chateau said he’s confident Doctolib provides a stronger set of features than ZocDoc. But with billions of medical appointments booked in Europe’s highly fragmented medical market, Niox-Chateau said he expects to stay focused on his backyard for the foreseeable future.
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