Digital healthcare startup Tyde has secured $3 million in Series A funding from an array of high net-worth and institutional investors to prepare the company’s app for an influx of Australians using it to monitor their health records, after the government launches its opt-out version of the My Health Record system later this year.
Founded in 2016 by Romain Bonjean, Shamus Cooper, and Sudeep Gohil, Tyde offers the 5 million Australians currently signed up to the government’s My Health Record program a way to connect with and access all their medical records via an app. They can then share the records with relevant medical professionals.
Bonjean says the process for a startup to be given access to the government’s My Health Record data is a long and complex one, telling StartupSmart it took Tyde the “over a year” to complete.
“We had to demonstrate our compliance with the Department of Defence IRAP, demonstrate our understanding of the 2012 Privacy Act regarding how we share people’s data and what we’re sharing it for, and the company’s entire architecture needs to be audited,” he says.
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“And a whole series of general audits and security assessments need to be done. It’s quite a big undertaking.”
That undertaking will get even larger later this year when the government opens up the My Health Record system to every Australian, unless they opt out. Bonjean says the current estimates for opt-out number equate to around 5%, leaving well over 20 million Australians as potential customers for Tyde.
The startup’s visions aren’t just local however, with the founders considering global expansions as more and more countries follow Australia’s lead and introduce similar systems to My Health Record.
Profit still to come after $3 million raise
The $3 million capital raise was backed by a series of institutional investors and high-net worth individuals, including TechSydney chief executive and Spreets founder Dean McEvoy, who said in a statement Tyde has “significant global potential”.
“We believe the team at Tyde has the potential to help transform the lives of millions of Australians leading to improved health outcomes. Our investment will help establish the current product as a leader in the Australian market,” McEvoy said.
“Tyde has the potential to become a single access point for all Australians to manage and monitor their health information and we are honored to be a part of efforts to help ensure all Australian’s continue to benefit from one of the best healthcare systems in the world.”
The funds themselves will be used to fuel the Tyde’s go-to-market strategy come the end of the year, and to expand its engineering team to help deliver on its product roadmap.
“We’re very happy with the investors we got on board, and I was surprised at the strong appetite from the investment community to invest in a digital health disruptor,” Bonjean says.
“It speaks highly of Australia that our investors did not see the My Health Record as a sovereign risk for us.”
Bonjean says the round was oversubscribed by 50% in the end and the startup had to turn some investors away, and while he’s not thinking about another round anytime soon, he acknowledges the company will likely raise again to get some more “gas in the tank”.
Looking to the future, Bonjean is working towards Tyde becoming profitable and he has a longer-term approach for the company to provide a holistic batch of healthcare services to Australians.
“We came to the market to do a Series A with an existing revenue stream, and strong growth from existing payers, and we’re on the way to be profitable in the next 24 months,” Bonjean says.
“Once you set up the plumbing for securely communicating health data, everything else goes on top. That includes telehealth, medication management, care coordination and the overall sharing of data with medical professionals. We are building a walled garden for all of this to be managed safely.”
For other founders, Bonjean has some words of warning on timing your raise, and dealing with disinterested investors.
“Time it well, don’t come at it too early,” he says.
“VCs either like you or they don’t. If they don’t reply to you, move on. Don’t get stuck talking to VCs and trying to be friendly with them.”