In a Rare Moment in Digital Health, Physitrack Announces 2018 IPO Plans
Telerehab and patient engagement platform Physitrack announced last week they plan to seek an initial public offering (IPO) on alternative stock exchange Nasdaq First North during the first quarter of 2018.
…[C]ofounder and CEO Henrik Molin told MobiHealthNews this week [that] the company has not yet set the terms of this IPO, but said in a statement that it plans to use the offering to fund further expansion into new regions and accelerate its research and development efforts.
Founded in 2012, Physitrack’s virtual platform offers an alternative to the traditional paper-based exercise regimens supplied to patients preparing for or recovering from surgery. The platform’s remote monitoring and compliance tracking makes both parties more accountable, and provides patients access to educational physical therapy content. The service is marketed to healthcare providers, is employed in 102 countries, and recently passed 1.2 million total patients.
Unlike many digital health companies, Physitrack was largely self-funded, relying largely on the capital from prior successful exits of cofounder and CTO Nathan Skwortsow. With some supplemental capital from family and friends, the startup was able to largely avoid VC funding.
“From the start, we never really needed to look for external capital for the business,” Molin told MobiHealthNews. “That became just a core thing for us, not having to access traditional venture capital. It enabled us to be a little more inward-focused with the business, to just really build something that we were excited about and that we thought we could excite other people about. We didn’t really have to care about providing metrics for external parties.”
At a time when so few digital health companies are reaching the IPO stage, it is worth taking some time to study what allowed Physitrack to reach this milestone.
The pressures of venture capital are not just the norm, [Molin] continued, but all too often become a roadblock for ideas that need a little more time to germinate.
“A lot of people are taking funding; I think some $14 billion were invested into this space in the last couple of years,” he said. “[We’ve seen] some amazing solutions, some very smart people, but monetization has been very difficult, and the pressure to move faster toward monetization has been quite overwhelming. So I think in a digital health business it’s optimal to be a little bit less VC-constrained … That sets us aside from a lot of digital health plays.”
The company’s big break came when Physitrack was selected to participate in Apple’s Mobility Partner Program, along with digital EHR company drchrono.
“It’s a way for Apple to help a number of companies who are interested in having better solutions for iOS,” Molin said. “It was a very intense few months working closely with Apple on that project. It was the single most disruptive thing for this company, in a good way, because for us the reworked iOS app … absolutely exploded after that. We managed to find product market fit sometime before we did the Apple project, but when we nailed the UI and UX situation within the system, people just started loving Physitrack like nothing else, and that’s when we had our breakthrough.”
Molin believes a public offering can offer a distinct advantage when growing a young company like Physitrack.
“Just to be able to have that brand recognition as a stable, bigger player targeting enterprise, I saw that as being very favorable,” he said….
According to a statement, Physitrack is collaborating with Capita Plc and other key service providers for legal, compliance, accounting, and corporate governance connected to the IPO, and is in the process of appointing Certified Advisors for the transaction.