Skedify: appointment online
Precisely those in danger of vanishing in an increasingly digital world do not appear to be betting on the customer-centric personal appointment.<br />Arne Bassez and Christophe Thelen, founders Skedify
Ghent-based scale-up Skedify raised 1.7 million euros to further develop a user-friendly online plaform that arranges and manages appointments and meetings. The company of Arne Bassez and Christophe Thelen was founded in 2015, and since then has recorded a nice growth. With funding from PMV, among others.
As a student, Arne Bassez noticed how unimpressive the applications are for scheduling and managing appointments, and especially how little connected those systems are. His thesis became a real business case in which he researched the market for several innovations. Not only did he graduate magna cum laude; he immediately had valuable market research in his pocket. So were there no solutions for online appointment management yet? Surely: to make an appointment with a doctor or dentist, there are several solutions. But for banks, insurers, accountants or travel agencies, the number of applications is much less abundant. Yet the need is greater there. Precisely the sectors that threaten to disappear in an increasingly digital world – who books a hotel through a travel agency today? – paradoxically turned out not to bet on what can keep them afloat in that world: the customer-centric personal appointment.
Second equity gap
As office networks shrink, consumers expect an ever-increasing customer focus. Bassez decided to capitalise on that paradox with Skedify – founded with its own savings – and help clients in the strategic transformation towards expertise and tailored advice. Scheduling a call with a specialist should be easy, and should be possible at any time of the day. The first software developers were hired, and Christophe Thelen also joined, accounting for 15 years of appointment management experience in healthcare. The sales growth seemingly lacked the need for growth capital. But subsequent growth was not without its struggles. It is a difficult period for a lot of start-ups: indeed, the well-known second equity gap is the early end for many start-ups.
Because Thielen and Bassez thought it was too early to look for venture capital, they put together an alternative, clever financing mix that used Winwin loans as leverage for a bank loan. Banks that had initially sent the business owners walking suddenly did prove willing to give a loan. The bank loan was then complemented by Cofinancing. Finally, capital was raised from business angels. The result: a cheap and efficient financing mix with valuable advice on the business and financing plan. With the funding raised, Skedify now wants to grow further, worldwide. The first international customers have already arrived.
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