Paris-based startup Studio Hexa, which recently raised $22 million, is launching a new vertical focused on improving the healthcare system. Julien Meraud, senior team member of French unicorn startup doctolib, is joining Startup Studio.
As a reminder, Hexa started life as e-Founders and originally focused exclusively on B2B software-as-a-service startups. The studio comes up with startup ideas, finds startup founders to pair them with these ideas and help them launch with their own core team and some initial funding.
After a while, the startups “graduate” from the startup studio and continue their lives as independent companies – Hexa owns a stake in its portfolio companies. Some of Hexa's past companies include Front, Aircall and Spendesk.
As Hexa starts branching out into other verticals, the startup studio is also rethinking its strategy. For the health vertical, Hexa isn't just hiring Julien Meraud. It's going to work with a full-time doctor to help when it comes to evaluating future projects.
For every healthtech startup, Hexa looks for two co-founders – a physician who already knows their specialty and has hands-on experience as well as an operational entrepreneur who knows how to scale companies.
Hexa Health has a vertical approach with each company focusing specifically on one pathology. The first two startups to come out of the studio will focus on weight loss and skin cancer detection.
“Like most startups the idea is to have a CEO and a CTO. And this is common among all hexa companies. But what is slightly new with this particular vertical is that we believe that innovation in healthcare should be driven by physicians. In other words, if you asked me to design the right care to detect skin cancer, I couldn't do it. That's why we want to work with physicians on every innovation,” Meraud told me.
He also emphasized the fact that Hexa should not disrupt the entire healthcare industry. With this new vertical, the startup studio wants to find inefficiencies and improve care pathways, given the growing imbalance between Europe's aging population and available medical time.
“Tech shouldn't just enable faster care. It should also enable better care. And we really focus on measuring the clinical quality of care and everything we create,” Meraud said.