When it first launched in 2007, ZocDoc enabled patients to book appointments with dentists in just two neighborhoods in Manhattan. Five years later, it includes doctors in 35 different specialties in 31 major metropolitan areas across the country.
Now, to accommodate all that growth, the New York-based company said it plans to open a second flagship office in Phoenix.
The company is still looking for a permanent office, but moved full-time staff to Phoenix about two weeks ago and is mainly hiring in sales and operations, a spokeswoman said.
ZocDoc said it chose Phoenix because the geographical diversity enables the company to move to a 24/7 model for service but the city is still easily reachable via direct flights from New York. In the event of a Hurricane Irene-like natural disaster, the company said having two flagship offices will enable them to continue to support patients and doctors across the country.
In the last year, the company has not only been on a hiring spree — nearly doubling in size to more than 300 employees — it’s also expanded its products and specialties. Earlier this month, it rolled out an online check-in option, its first new product since launching in 2007 and the most-requested feature from patients and doctors. Beyond that, in recent months, ZocDoc has also added more specialists in alternative medicine, including acupuncturists, dieticians, nutritionists, audiologists and naturopathic doctors.
ZocDoc CEO comments on growth, competition
Having raised $95 million in venture capital funding and now reaching 1.8 million people across the country each month, ZocDoc is among the most well-funded companies and biggest success stories in the health tech space. But over the past couple of years, companies like HealthTap, BetterDoctor, Zeel and others have started to emerge that help patients discover and connect with healthcare providers, as well as book appointments via mobile and desktop platforms.
Last week, at the Health 2.0 conference in San Francisco, I had a chance to sit down with CEO Cyrus Massoumi for an interview on stage to talk about the company’s growth and future plans, and asked about how the company views the growing competition.
When it comes to new rivals, Massoumi said, ZocDoc is taking a page from the book of ZocDoc investor and Amazon (s AMZN) CEO and founder Jeff Bezos.
“He focuses all of his actions on his clients, his customers, and he lets the competition focus on him,” he said. “Being, by far, the market leader in the online booking space, we’ve followed that advice.”
Going forward, he said, ZocDoc will continue to focus on patients and doctors and the interfaces between them. The new check-in feature is clearly an example of that orientation but it will be interesting to see what they choose to offer next. As others have said, a payment product (similar to that offered by patient check-in platform Phreesia) could be a natural next step.
Massoumi also emphasized that as much as the company has grown, it still has significant ground to cover.
“Our goal has always been to make ZocDoc available everywhere, not just the U.S.,” he said. “For us, the journey is just beginning in terms of what we’re doing and our core business.”