ZocDoc secures $50 million for doc appointments

Ronny Kerr · August 2, 2011 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/1d67

DST Global invests in another late-stage startup, but it's a tad less famous than Twitter

Maybe it’s to show that the firm cares about more than just the most talked-about late-stage startups. Or maybe it’s to show off how deep Yuri Milner’s wallet really runs. Or maybe it’s just some extra capital for a good business.

, a platform for finding doctors and dentists and making appointments online, announced Tuesday that it has raised a $50 million Series C round from DST Global. The company has received $70 million in total investments.

On ZocDoc, not only can patients search for open appointments, but they can also filter results by those doctors nearby that accept whatever insurance they might carry. The service syncs with doctors’ calendars in real-time, so there’s never any inconvenient mix-ups. Part of the appeal, for both patients and doctors, is that it becomes possible to book appointments as early as same day, since 10 to 20 percent of appointments are cancelled or rescheduled at the last minute.

While free for patients, the service costs doctors $250 per month.

In its four year life, ZocDoc has ballooned from just 5,000 dentist appointments in Manhattan to five million appointments in nine major cities, including Los Angeles and Philadelphia, and several medical specialties. Nearly 700,000 people use the service each month.

In sum, ZocDoc strives toward a goal many startups have tackled with minimal results: improving the healthcare system.

People tend to throw around the phrase “healthcare is broken” like we're expected to, but how bad is it really? Pretty bad:

“Healthcare has become the largest and most intractable problem of our generation,” writes ZocDoc CEO and co-founder Cyrus Massoumi, “and it is tempting to doubt the feasibility of ZocDoc’s mission. In the US alone, healthcare costs account for $2.47 trillion – that’s nearly 18% of our total GDP. Globally, healthcare represents about 10% of most countries’ GDPs.”

“Regaining control of these spiraling costs will require something beyond cost-cutting gimmicks or fancy technology. It will require a new way of thinking about healthcare. We don’t just believe that change is possible; we believe that it is necessary.”

This is the second “significant” round of capital invested by DST this week, following yesterday’s announced infusion in Twitter. No official word on the size of that round, though rumors pegged it at $800 million for an $8 billion valuation. DST is famous for its massive, late-stage investments in companies like Facebook, Groupon and Zynga.

The new funding will be used largely for expansion: in new markets, to more doctors and to more patients.

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