Rene is a platform that gives companies the tools they need to keep their employees safe and healthy on their journeys, from tailored travel insurance to wellness programs and telemedicine services. Our algorithm matches the right type of policy for each trip and offers the best coverage option available. If the users need to access medical services abroad, they easily do so by just pressing a button. Rene is a platform that gives companies the tools they need to keep their employees safe and healthy on their journeys, from tailored travel insurance to wellness programs and telemedicine services. Our algorithm matches the right type of policy for each trip and offers the best coverage option available. If the users need to access medical services abroad, they easily do so by just pressing a button.
I came to the US for the first time on vacation a few years ago, and before returning home I decided to go scuba diving. Little did I know it was going to be the last time I was able to do it. When I came out of the water I realized that something was awfully, wrong since I wasn’t able to breathe and my head was spinning. I remember having my insurance card in my wallet with a number to call in case of an emergency, so I picked up the phone and called, but to my surprise they put me on hold. After 15 minutes, I dropped the phone and rush to the first hospital I saw where they told me my lungs were collapsing.
When I finally got discharged my insurance company told me that they wouldn’t be covering the 12k bill because that sport wasn’t covered in their terms and conditions. Doing some research I realized I wasn’t the only one, over 10 million people end up in the hospital each year due to travel related accidents. I knew I had to do something about it, and that’s when Rene started to take form.
Back then I was working on my second startup, GTN Medical, the first appointment solution in the world that allowed patients to book medical appointments online or by phone 24/7 without the intervention of operators. We decided to use our expertise in the healthcare space to start Rene, so we looked for ways to get funded. Since we had already been part of an accelerator program with GTN we decided to get our first pre-seed round this way.
But before applying we knew that investors are eager to see some traction, that’s why we leverage our user base from GTN in Argentina to get some customers, and we were able to sell over 1.300 policies in a span of 7 months, generating over $60k+ in revenue. So we decided to apply for Expert Dojo Accelerator in Santa Monica, California and got accepted. Between the accelerator and angel investors we raised $300k for our pre-seed round and we used it to expand operations in the US, develop our platform and achieve product market fit.
At first we struggle finding product market fit, lot of US travelers think that since they have domestic insurance or a premium credit card they are covered in case of medical emergencies but in most of the cases the coverage they get is insufficient, that’s when we realized that businesses faced even bigger issues, because they are sending employees abroad to fulfill important missions and in lot’s of cases they don’t count with the right level of protection.
Even though we serve individual travelers, our target customers are companies with employees traveling internationally like manufacturing corporations, VC firms and startup accelerators.
As for the numbers, we saw a spike in inquiries and sales due to the coronavirus. We tripled our sales from last month! We sold 1.600 policies so far, and we are aiming to hit $1M in revenue by the end of the year, looking to serve about 7,000 US customers.
Have you raised any money so far?
We just opened our seed round, we are currently raising $800,000 and already got $60k in this new round. We envision a future where accessing healthcare and wellness services around the world is seamlessly for anyone regardless where they are, the language that they speak and the reason why they are looking for medical care.
Did you create any companies prior to Rene Health?
I started my first company when I was 17 years old, back then everyone thought I was certainly crazy, my parents, teachers and friends thought It was a 'phase’ that I would eventually grow out of it and find a real job. Which I never end up doing.
I met my current co-founder in highschool, we were both 15 years old, he was super tech oriented, started coding when he was 12 and I was good with sales and coming up with ideas. Our first business together was a company that sold computers, then we started developing software for doctors until we came up with GTN Medical. We got several international prices with our startup after serving over 600.000 users all over Latin America. I even got invited by the Mexican Government to give a speech at the Bureau of Business Affairs in Mexico City, where I lived for 3 years expanding my business.
I also mentored entrepreneurs and social projects in Colombia, Mexico and the US and the most common question I get is how to start a business and how to overcome all the negativity that a lot of people give when you want to start something of your own.
What advice do you have for someone just starting out?
My main advice is to be relentless. Once you find something that you are passionate about, make sure that is something that people are willing to pay for, and when you identify your ideal customer obsessed with them, find out what motivates them, how big of a pain you are solving for them, then replicate it and expand.
Starting a business is tough so the more training you have the better you will be able to deal with the complexity that running a startup represents, so read, read a lot, attend events, talk with other entrepreneurs, surround yourself with people that you admire and never lose focus. Set a target, hit it and continue to the next.
What books and podcasts inspire you?
How I built this Podcast with Guy Raz
Extreme ownership - Jocko Willink
Leadership Strategy and tactics - Jocko Willink
7 habits of highly effective people - Stephen Covey
The mom test - Rob Fitzpatrick
What it takes - Stephen Schwarzman
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