Digital health care learning platform OnlineMedEd raised $5 million in a seed round from an undisclosed network of 20 physician investors to expand its educational content beyond medical school walls to more than 60 million health care professionals at all levels.
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The Austin-based company was formed in 2014 by Jamie Fitch and Dustyn Williams, but its origins go back to New Orleans just after Hurricane Katrina happened in 2005, Fitch told Crunchbase News. When many of the professors did not return, Fitch, Williams and their fellow students began looking for additional ways to learn, he said.
“We were shut down for three months, and many of our professors lost their life’s work and did not come back,” Fitch added. “In the process, we found we had a knack for creating content to put online. Now as professionals, we turned it into a business.”
Six years later, more than 86 percent of medical students in the United States use OnlineMedEd to supplement knowledge needed to pass their board exams, as well as in their clinical practice. The company averages about 200,000 users each month, which has risen since the COVID-19 pandemic to more than 450,000 users, while its watched video minutes doubled, Fitch said.
The new funding will be used to further develop content that is relevant to a spectrum of providers living across the globe, to build partnerships with faculty, and to create a better user experience.
“Medicine is hard to do by digital learning–we are used to doing it with patients–so we want to create real experiences” Fitch said. “We wanted to raise initial funds from physicians to validate what we were doing.”
Dr. Glenn Robinson, one of its investors, said he envisions OnlineMedEd’s platform “as merely the DNA base pairs to replicate for the future of all professional education.”
OnlineMedEd has surpassed $10 million in revenue, and continues to grow at a rate of about 60 percent year over year, he said. The company is also hiring experts and senior leadership, with plans to be at about 75 employees by the end of the year.
Next steps for the company include ensuring faculty are getting the support they need to go entirely digital. One of its newest offerings is “Crash Course in Medicine,” a suite of 48 free online video lessons to help redeployed medical professionals get up to speed on today’s medical knowledge.
The company is also increasing its university partners as it shifts to a business-to-business strategy rather than selling to students. The company has more than 50 partners currently.
“Universities are where we want to be, and they understand the value proposition, especially with COVID, where we are supporting medical students out of the clinic,” Fitch said.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias