Key Stats: Boon on Wefunder
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The healthcare industry is always thriving regardless of economic conditions. This does not mean it doesn’t have its faults. Shortages of healthcare providers are especially problematic in today’s society.
To help “fix” this problem, nearly 10% of the entire healthcare labor force is hired by staffing agencies as “temporary employees.” However, the hiring process of new temporary staff through these agencies brings with it its own set of challenges.
For the provider, these temporary staffing agencies lack flexibility in their schedule to be appealing. The work offered is also usually mundane and very physical so medical professionals often avoid them.
This leads to a high burnout rate. According to American Medical Association, burnout has jumped from 23% to 36% in 2019. For practices , this results in a high turnover rate that leads to a lack of team consistency, increases costs and time, and lowers accountability for hired work. Often times the temporary worker is not as qualified as the full-time staff, resulting in a decrease in quality of care.
These issues are compounded by hidden fees and high hourly markups on the provider’s wage. There must be a cheaper, faster, and more accountable approach for hiring temporary staff in the healthcare sector while maintaining quality care. Enter Boon!
Boon is a platform (website and app) where practices can list availabilities and match them with providers that can fulfill their needs. It connects dental providers on-demand to temporary work opportunities by making instantaneous matches based on a number of factors to ensure a right fit and promote outstanding patient care.
Using a sophisticated AI algorithm, Boon can quickly match providers to practices in just one click. The assignments are in close proximity to the provider’s location and match the provider’s preferences and experience to guarantee satisfaction.
By removing the middleman and utilizing software, Boon can pay providers more for their services and charge the practice less. This streamlines the entire healthcare process and a temporary worker can be on site within an hour.
Boon prices each job automatically so there will be no surprise costs incurred by the practice or the provider. Each provider listed on Boon will be fully screened and must be approved.
Boon allows the care provider to get paid fairly for their work while having a flexible schedule set by their own calendar, while the practice gets a quality care provider at the time of need.
Boon makes money off each shift fulfilled by one of their matches (on average 20% of the total shift costs). This could vary depending on a number of factors including demand, distance, experience, discounts, etc.
There will be no hidden fees or additional costs. Boon automatically displays the price for each job, making transparency one of its most notable differentiators.
Boon targets retired professionals, stay-at-home parents, residents or licensed students, or any other form of healthcare provider to become their workforce. Ultimately, it looks to expand its provider base to any licensed individual looking for a “side hustle” to flex skills and licenses.
Boon has decided to begin disruption with the dental industry and later expand into veterinary care and other sectors of the healthcare industry.
Boon initially targeted the dental industry due to the sizeable market. The dental staffing industry is worth $48 billion in the U.S. alone. Ryan Vet, founder and CEO of Boon, is also very familiar with the dental industry.
Boon is available nationwide for dental staffing but has focused on markets that seem favorable. Its beta form was released in Raleigh-Durham in March 2019.
It then expanded to Phase 1 locations (New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, and Dallas) followed by Phase 2 (Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Washington D.C, and Boston).
The platform relies heavily on network effects so Boon has been marketing by joining private, nationwide Facebook groups, marketing on social media, and events to promote the app.
The largest competition that Boon faces is existing staffing agencies. There are over 20,000 staffing firms (in all industries). These agencies lack the speed and convenience of Boon. It is a lot more expensive to work with these agencies and many times practices are forced to sign very expensive contracts with a certain agency. Boon’s algorithm to match provider’s with practices saves money and time.
However, Boon is not the only startup attempting to disrupt this market. Cloud Dentistry, a staffing firm with a dental-specific focus, uses an online portal, however this service lacks the price transparency and streamlined process of Boon.
Another company similar to Boon is Connect Rn, a regional health-system platform. Again, like Cloud Dentistry, Connect Rn doesn’t offer automatic matches, and requires monthly fees.
Boon was founded in 2018 by Ryan Vet, who wants to revolutionize the entire healthcare staffing industry.
He is a seasoned startup entrepreneur with prior experience as an Advisor at uCondition (a cloud-based software solutions for room condition reporting and billing damages for students in residential halls), founding Digi Tech Studio (a marketing firm), and being Vice President of Marketing at Netsertive.
Vet is also very familiar with the healthcare market, specifically dentistry. He was an executive at Anutra Medical, a medical device company, and has become renowned in the dental field. He is an author, speaker, and host of a dental podcast called The Dental Experience.
Vet has the potential to succeed, but he needs to build his team. Boon is still very early stage, but demands an experienced team to be successful in the future.
Why We Like it
1. Large Market: By operating in the healthcare industry, Boon is guaranteed to always have a market to work in regardless of the economic climate, since healthcare is a necessity. Tens of billions of dollars are generated each year from healthcare practices in the US.
Boon is tapping into a huge market. It is estimated that healthcare staff pay will grow to over $44.65 billion by 2025 in the US alone. That is 20 times larger than the driving market that Uber and Lyft operates in. If Boon is able to conquer even just a sliver of that market or more, it could be a very lucrative business.
2. “On-Demand” Economic Trends: Since Uber disrupted the transportation sector, the economy has slowly shifted to what is now known as an “On-Demand Economy,” defined by Business Insider, as the “economic activity created by technology companies that fulfill consumer demand via the immediate provisioning of goods and services.”
The Harvard Business Review reports that this economic trend has spread past just the wealthy and young populations to include every segment of society,attracting about 22 million more people each year. Boon’s timing is ideal to benefit from this economic trend and disrupt the staffing market.
3. Geographical and Market-Based Growth Opportunity: There are two different growth opportunities that seem promising for Boon. First,geographical growth is a smart business move. Even though they are a nationwide service, Boon requires a lot of providers and practices to buy into its message. By focusing on densely populated metropolises, network effects should expand naturally helping the company to accelerate growth.
Secondly, its growth into other aspects of healthcare outside of dental care is evident as room for growth. Boon hopes to expand into veterinary care next and then to general practices.
The Rating: Deal To Watch
Boon is a Deal To Watch. Boon provides a unique platform to connect experienced professionals with practices desperately in need of their assistance.
The staffing problem plaguing the healthcare system is a concerning issue, but Boon seems ready to solve this growing problem while helping drive better healthcare outcomes and quality of life for healthcare providers.
As previously mentioned, this business is very early on in the startup process, but it seems to be on the right track. First off, the market and economic trends are favorable.
Other gig economy platforms such as Upwork, which recently went public with a market cap nearing $2B, may even look at a platform such as Boon in the future as a prime acquisition target to continue to grow in fields where they don’t have expertise.
In the near term, our concerns for the business lies in being able to raise enough capital to scale the team and driving early adoption on both ends of the marketplace. It will be interesting to see if the idea of being a freelancer in the medical space is accepted with open arms or is met with more resistance than in less skilled fields of work.
This may be a hindrance to driving scalable network effects but time will tell. If the healthcare space proves open and willing to work with a gig economy marketplace like Boon, then we think the team is nicely positioned to be an early market leader in a large market opportunity.
This is a very early but exciting entry point for interested investors who want to be a part of disrupting the healthcare industry.
About: Chris lustrino
A Boston College Eagle for life, on a mission to democratize startup investing for all people at KingsCrowd, with a passion for Fintech, investing, social impact, doing well and doing good, and an avid runner, cyclist and writer.