Beep aims to be the top health app for Brazilians

Beep's founder and CEO Vander Corteze says he prefers to retain users before expanding to the international market

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During the pandemic, several services skyrocketed thanks to the differential in providing their services in the client’s home. Companies from many areas went from small businesses to the top of their markets precisely because their flagship product was one whose characteristics coincided with the new demands of society.

In this scenario, health startups that focused on home care had a huge growth – they went from 542 in 2020 to 945 until September of last year, according to data from the Distrito –, not only due to the application of vaccines but also due to the need for testing and exams, primarily to identify and treat respiratory conditions that may be directly linked to COVID-19.

Beep Saúde, a Brazilian startup that offers medical care within your home, has stood out precisely for combining the convenience of home care with the new needs of a society directly affected by the effects of the pandemic. We interviewed its founder and CEO, Vander Corteze, to better understand where Beep is in the current market and how far the startup can go.

Vander Corteze, founder and CEO of Beep. Photo: Courtesy/Beep Saúde

While the pandemic has boosted Beep’s ranch and brand awareness, Corteze noted that the startup‘s growth has maintained the same pace as it had since 2017. “The company has been around since 2016. In the first year, we were studying and trying to figure out our place in this market. In the second half of 2017, we started doing what we do today, like vaccinations and home exams. And we still want to expand to other services”, commented the CEO.

But then the pandemic came, and while it was a bad moment, it didn’t have such a huge impact on our business. Beep’s growth has maintained its pace, with the company more than doubling annually, even during the period. However, it is undeniable that there have been changes. Organic search for the type of service we offer has grown a lot. The impact, then, came more in indicators such as customer acquisition, brand awareness, than in the growth of the business as a whole.

Vander Corteze, Beep’s founder and CEO

According to Corteze, Beep grew a lot during the pandemic (numbers were not revealed) and, today, the company has ten hubs spread across Brazil, and is able to serve 150 smaller cities using them as distribution centers. The startup does not open numbers such as the base of users registered on the platform, regions where there is greater adherence to the app or which services are most requested.

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In addition to the possibility of offering a simplified health service, Beep also has a much larger number of potential customers because its operation is simpler in relation to hospitals and health insurance companies. The entire operation of Beep only requires that its health posts are in operation and stocked so that health workers can use the available resources to serve patients in their own homes.

The company’s model follows a concept similar to Dark Kitchens such as WeCook. There is a distribution center from where products and services leave to meet demands. “We work with the concept of a clinic or laboratory that does not receive clients, but is the basis for us to start our home care”, says the founder.

Through this system, Beep sees no need to install hubs in small and medium-sized cities, being able to take advantage of its distribution centers from large centers to serve peripheral regions.

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“Today, we are able to take a small town and offer our service twice a week, which perfectly meets the demand in the region. We are happy with our current performance because other services would not be able to serve this community or do so at high prices due to the low demand in these small towns”, says Corteze.

While talking about health in Brazil, the state initiative always ends up on the agenda because there is a very strong public health system in the Brazilian market. In this regard, however, Beep should not seek public-private partnerships. Corteze reaffirmed Beep’s intention to remain independent of partners, ruling out even links to private health insurance companies.

I think it is important to emphasize that we are, in business terms, agnostics. We are not affiliated with any health insurance system. Today, if you ask people what applications they have on their cell phone related to health, the answer will usually be nothing or their health insurance app. As we are independent of health insurance companies, we are able to remain neutral in this regard and, if a customer, for example, changes plans, whether out of necessity or desire, they will have no problem continuing to use the Beep service.

Vander Corteze, Beep’s founder and CEO

If these partnerships are not part of Beep’s plans, investments are not just a plan, but a necessity for expansion and improvement of operations. Last year, the startup already raised R$ 110 million in a round (US$ 23 million at the current price) led by Valor Capital Group. Asked about the possibility of increasing the services catalog after a new round of investments, Corteze commented: “This is 100% sure. Beep’s goal, from the start, has never been to be the biggest vaccine company. But we already are, and now we want to be the biggest laboratory. But we also want new business. Our goal is to be a gateway to healthcare for Brazilians. When someone thinks about health services, we want them to think of Beep. We want them to find our vaccines, exams, medication delivery services, nursing data, physiotherapy, scheduling imaging exams…Well, everything related to health”.

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Focusing on customer loyalty and expansion of the user base, Beep has no plans to expand its business beyond Brazilian boundaries anytime soon. “Non-internationalization is not written in stone, but our feeling today is that we should focus on offering other services to our existing customer base. They already have a very close relationship with Beep, so it seems to us to make more sense to work our services and products with these customers before expanding. I prefer to offer different services to the same family than to look for new families in other countries”, said Corteze.