Based out of Paris, Ambler, an intermediation platform that connects health care prescribers to ambulance companies, has raised €6 million after 18 months of its first round of funding. The round was led by Bpifrance, which is taking a stake in the company. Other existing shareholders including Idinvest Partners, Partech, and Kima Ventures also participated in the round.
Aims to strengthen its operational and expand presence!
The French company is planning to use the fund to accelerate the development of its platform for connecting healthcare transporters and institutions. On top of that, the startup also intends to continue its technological developments and strengthen its operational and commercial teams. To date, Ambler has raised €8 million funding.
The France-based company aims to become the ‘Uber for ambulance network.’ Mehdi Ben Abroug, co-founder & CEO of Ambler says, “The achievement of this Series A round will allow us, together with trusted investors, to accelerate towards our vision for Ambler: to become the largest ambulance network in France by bringing together thousands of small and medium-sized ambulance companies, using an innovative partnership model and our technology to raise the level of service to the highest standards of mobility”.
Notably, Ambler also aims to expand its presence in new French regions, with the goal of nationwide coverage by 2021.
In an exclusive interview with Silicon Canals Ben Abroug says, “There is a €25 billion market in Europe and we already had a close look at Germany where the need for smoother patients mobility is as huge as in France, but the complexity is higher due to regional discrepancies, and rides are mostly operated by NGOs (red cross accounts for 45% of the rides). The US looks promising as well with several companies like Roundtrip already operating and raising capital. But remember that by “only” taking 5% of the French €5 billion market, we would already make €250 million in GMV: which is bigger than Blablacar and FlixBus FR subsidiaries combined! So France is definitely the focus at least for the next 2 years, but we are really excited about bringing our value to the patients of any other country where our value proposition would make sense.”
Manages inter-hospital patient transfers!
In France, the non-emergency medical transport market represents 80 million journeys per year and is worth €5 billion (more than the taxi and VTC sectors combined). A year ago, Ambler, founded in 2018, launched a service to manage inter-hospital patient transfers via an online platform, which has been reformed to return inter-hospital transfer expenses to the hospital budget.
Talking about the origin of the company, Ben Abroug shares,” All the founders had strong previous experience in mobility marketplaces, especially Blablacar and FlixBus. 80% of our job as mobility marketplaces builders was directly replicable to tackle the challenges of patients mobility – dispatch algorithm, partnership contracts with transportation operators, customer service. The 20% remaining part of the job is the necessary adaptation to the healthcare sector where data is a very sensitive topic (with impact on product development), where patients are not customers, and where the end-payer in France has social security. Our success will depend on our ability to prove that we are a reliable and sustainable building brick of our future healthcare system.”
In fact, Ambler simplifies the heavy administrative work involved in managing non-emergency patient transport, which is a burden on healthcare staff (booking journeys, managing incidents, etc.), as well as on buyers and the financial teams of the institutions (calls for tenders, cost control, invoicing, recovery of budget allocations, etc.).
200 public and private hospitals and 500 transport companies!
In just 18 months, Ambler’s solution has already convinced more than 200 public and private hospitals and 500 transport companies to go digital. Some of the company’s clients include Orpea, Koarian in the private sector, and UGECAM, a +90 facilities group that belongs to the French Social Security, as well as several public hospitals in the Paris and Lyon area, for the public sector.
Commenting on the funding, Nicolas Dumont, Product Director and co-founder of Ambler, explains: “The industry is lagging behind technologically: the offer is often limited to complex order-taking software for healthcare institutions. We have created a simple and interoperable platform that allows customers to book a trip in seconds. Ambler is more than just hospital software, it is also the point of contact between the hospital and the transporters: a one-stop-shop for healthcare transport across the entire value chain to simplify, organize and impact the cost and quality of services.”
Adrien Neel, Investment Director at Bpifrance’s Digital Venture Division, emphasises: “It is essential to simplify the lives of hospital staff, who are today overwhelmed by logistical and administrative tasks. That is why we are delighted to accompany Ambler in this new phase of growth and proud to have been able to lead this fundraising in the current pandemic context”.
Main image credits: Ambler
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