Dr. Mario Amaro co-founded a startup to help other health care professionals start their own businesses. After raising a seed capital round, Houston-based DocSpace is looking to expand.
DocSpace is developing a commerce platform for clinicians to start and manage their own private practices. The company provides a HIPPA-compliant platform to assist with back-office functions like banking, payroll, bookkeeping, scheduling and video conferencing. The DocSpace platform can also assist with creating a digital health storefront and other management tools. The startup launched in March 2020, around the time Covid-19 was declared a pandemic.
“[March 2020] was a crazy time for everyone but more specifically, for clinicians. We needed to show value from day one, and the value was education,” said CEO Amaro, a Navy veteran and a physician by training. “We brought everyone together, and we wanted to walk you through every single process of forming your business.”
Since launching last year, DocSpace has worked with hundreds of clinicians to build their private practices, Amaro said. Now, he hopes an injection of growth funding will help the startup reach even more doctors and health care providers looking to start businesses.
DocSpace announced raising $1.2 million in seed capital Aug. 18. The financing was led by Los Angeles-based Slauson & Co., an early-stage venture capital firm focused on economic inclusion. Slauson & Co. announced launching a $50 million investment fund earlier this year. Precursor Ventures, Acrew Capital’s Scout Fund, Sputnik ATX and angel investors also contributed to the seed capital funding.
Using the seed capital, DocSpace plans to build out a health care payments service called DocSpace Pay. The company also aims to add to its marketing and sales teams, Amaro said. DocSpace recently brought on a head of marketing and a marketing manager to oversee those efforts.
While headquartered in Houston, DocSpace has a completely distributed workforce with 12 total employees located in Houston, Austin, Los Angeles, San Francisco and outside of the U.S. Amaro said DocSpace enjoys being able to source talent from remote workers around the globe, but the company could open a physical location in Houston at some point in the future.
DocSpace was selected as a member of the winter 2021 cohort for Austin-based Sputnik ATX, a venture capital-backed startup accelerator. Oksana Malysheva, co-founder managing partner at Sputnik ATX, said around six of the accelerator’s 40 alumni are based in the Houston region.
There were a lot of parallels between DocSpace’s mission and Sputnik ATX’s mission, Malysheva said. Sputnik works with entrepreneurs to scale their early-stage businesses, while DocSpace assists clinicians with starting their own independent practices. Sputnik saw DocSpace’s services as a viable solution to solving some of these health care industry pain points and invested in the startup’s seed round.
“Doctors go into the business because they want to heal,” Malysheva said. “No one wants to become a doctor because they want to figure out the billing system or the marketing.”