Until a few years ago, if you or a loved one were sick, you would pack up a book and extra patience and visit your local emergency room, particularly at night or on the weekends when your family doctor’s office was closed. Then urgent care centers started to pop up across the country, offering those who needed immediate care, but not so urgent as to require an emergency room, quick access to a doctor to treat any number of ailments from ear infections to sprains.
Fortune writer, Leena Rao, writes that people have started to skip the expensive visits to the emergency room and are instead using urgent care facilities, which has grown to a $17 billion industry. A new start up is looking to solve the challenge facing urgent care centers to bring in would-be patients into their centers instead of going to the emergency room.
The startup, Solv Health, is based in Silicon Valley, but currently has dozens of locations in Texas including the Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano, and Arlington areas with the promise to continue growing and expanding. Unique in the focus on the DFW area is that Solv is based out of Silicon Valley, with an office in the Financial District of San Francisco.
Solv makes it possible to connect those who need medical care to an urgent care center by offering same-day doctor’s appointments. The platform has allowed 80% of patients to be seen by a physician within two hours, offering a quicker health care experience while saving up to 90% compared to visiting an emergency room.
In looking to uncover the link between Solv and Texas, the answer may lie with Bill Gurley, a partner at Benchmark Capital, which has provided Solv with $6.25 million in new funding. Benchmark Capital was an early investor in Uber and OpenTable, with Solv’s platform very similar to that employed by both. Gurley, raised in Houston and obtained his master’s degree at the University of Texas.
In an interview with Fred Vogelstein for UT Gurley admits that he believes that Silicon Valley may be in the midst of a bubble, and while the company tends to keep investments local, he could be looking to his home state, and the stability and growth of the tech industry here.
Several of the advisors for Solv also have connections to the urgent care market in Dallas, perhaps encouraging Solv to focus on a market where there is executive experience. Don Dillahunty, MD is the CEO/President of AltaMira Holdings, and prior to that was the CEO and President of PrimaCare Medical Center, a large group of ambulatory care centers located in Dallas. Gary Gerlacher, MD is the founder of Pediatric Urgent Care Consultants, which was based out of Texas with care clinics in Dallas and Houston as well as collaboration with Texas Children’s Hospital.