Startup Horror Stories
There were no tricks, only treats for founders at this special Halloween event co-hosted by Spice Startups and SeedLegal...
I caught up with Charlie Harington and Alex Templeton, co-founders of Qured , which recently raised 1.16m seed through Seedrs and SeedLegals.
Charlie: Qured was launched in 2017 with one objective: to revolutionise the patient experience of care in the UK, by offering affordable appointments at a time and location that suits the patient, rather than the practitioner.
Qured delivers doctors to your door around the clock via an easy-to-use app. We provide an alternative solution at those times of pressure, when you or your family need to be seen immediately by a doctor, but can’t face the hours waiting in A and E, or traipsing to the GP office once you finally have secured an appointment. The service is also 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – so it is not only convenient during the day, but also offers a much-needed option during the night.
Charlie: I entered the digital health segment after having a poor experience accessing NHS primary care for my young son. For weeks I tried to get my son, who was suffering from multiple ailments at the time, seen by a doctor. When I finally got an appointment I was told that I could only raise one problem at a time. So, I wanted to be part of a service that allowed for people to be able to get their problems seen to, as and when they needed it, without it costing them large sums of money.
Alex: Since becoming a parent, our use of healthcare services as a family increased hugely and I found that there were a lot of difficulties in accessing them, especially when compared to other services.
At the same time, everyone is aware of the capacity challenges of the NHS, so my partner Charlie and I started to think about how we could help on both sides of the equation. Qure was born out of this and, once we had met the right doctor to join us, the idea seemed so compelling that Charlie and I left decade-long careers in finance to make it a reality.
Charlie: A pre-seed round of £200k at 2mm post-money valuation and a seed round of £1.16m on 5.16m post-money valuation.
Charlie: Largely angel investors. Mostly from our network from previous careers in finance, though some genuine ‘angels’, who approached us, having used the service.
Charlie: The idea was definitely compelling to investors, given the changes that we are seeing in healthcare economics, as well as solving a problem which was relatable to many people’s personal experiences. However, we believe it was the team we have put together and in particular the strength of our board (Deliveroo, doctors.net/M3 EU, JPM AM), as well as two driven and pragmatic founders, which really stood out.
Alex: Needs a strong narrative for it to all hang together, a relatable problem and a great story for how you are going to execute your solution better than anyone else.
Alex: Having our attention taken away from the day job of building and growing the business, but needs must.
Charlie: Crowdfunding is good for customer acquisition if you are in a B2C business, but it’s far from ‘easy money’. Your new and existing investors are your best resource for securing further investment, use them and their networks. Everything will take longer than expected, so have some contingencies in place so you don’t run out of money while waiting for those final investors to come in and for docs to be executed.
Alex: Our experience of SeedLegals was great, having found them online. They held our hand through some complex negotiations and were great on the detail – picked up on some errors/inconsistencies in our original documentation, which was produced by a well-known City law firm.
Charlie: Growth, growth and growth. Using our funding to acquire doctors and customers and establish ourselves as the platform of choice for both in the UK, before looking towards other markets.