Aussie telehealth startup Eucalyptus has bagged $30 million in Series B funding, just two years after launch.
SmartCompany caught up with co-founder Tim Doyle to explore the future of the health sector (and the startup’s place within it), the opportunities and challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the co-founders’ billion-dollar, global dreams.
What is Eucalyptus?
Founded in 2019 by Tim Doyle, Benny Kleist, Alexey Mitko and Charlie Gearside, Eucalyptus now has four brands across fertility, health and wellbeing, which Doyle describes as “demographic-focused digital clinics”.
Pilot is a service focused specifically on men’s health, while Kin offers online fertility support for women, as well as a subscription service for the contraceptive pill. Normal is focused on sexual wellbeing, and Software offers prescription skincare.
Needless to say, it’s been a tumultuous two years of business, with the COVID-19 pandemic both disrupting operations and leading to an uptick in telehealth adoption.
But the business has been growing fast, consistently seeing more than 10% revenue growth, month-on-month.
Across the four services, it now has some 200,000 users, Doyle adds.
“All the brands are growing,” he says.
“It’s been high-growth, but high-volatility as well.”
Who are the investors?
The round was led by Silicon Valley VC NewView Capital, which is also an investor in digital health leaders 23andMe and Hims & Hers. Existing Aussie backers Blackbird Ventures and W23 — the VC arm of supermarket chain Woolworths — also contributed, along with new local investor AirTree Ventures.
Ravi Viswanathan, founder and managing partner of NewView Capital, will be joining the Eucalyptus board.
To have a big, US name come in to lead the round is something of a validation for Eucalyptus, Doyle says.
But the startup has had backing from Blackbird and other “really strong, high-quality support from very early on”, he notes.
All of this “speaks to the scale of the opportunity and the execution so far.”
Why now? Why Eucalyptus?
Having raised $8 million in Series A funding back in May last year, Doyle says the timing was right for another, considerably larger, round.
The team is planning on building and prototyping some more complex behavioural health products, and making a move in tackling diabetes and weight management.
To produce those products, Doyle says the team is set to grow from 70 people to about 120.
But he also says this is just the beginning, for Eucalyptus and for the sector more generally.
“I definitely think we’re right at the beginning of what’s going to happen in regards to telehealth,” he explains.
He comes from a background in online retail, he explains, and predicts that the telehealth industry now is where e-commerce was during the dot-com boom.
There’s an online experience and certain basic services available online. But that’s only going to increase.
“The true potential of telehealth is long-term care management of complex conditions,” he says.
That means communication between doctors and digitised care plans, and effective tracking of a patient’s wellbeing so the best services can be offered.
“There’s a long way to go and much more to build still,” he says.
What’s the big, audacious goal?
“There’s a lot of talk about how healthcare is one of the last industries or spaces in the economy that is largely undigitised,” Doyle explains.
It’s one of the only sectors where faxes are still regularly in use, he adds.
Eucalyptus is out to provide better services, with a more digital focus, in Australia and around the world — starting with the Asian markets.
As to whether Eucalyptus could be Australia’s next healthtech unicorn, Doyle is humble.
“There are a lot of good companies in the space,” he says.
“I would love to get there one day — whether or not we’re one of the first ones I’m not sure.”