Over seven years working in real estate, Andy Sheats became increasingly intrigued by the number of startups that were overlaying online business models onto traditional industries. In 2012, he decided to forge his own startup path and tread into the $20 billion private health industry. The result is Health.com.au.
The startup’s approach to product, process and service has seen it sign up over 80,000 members since its inception and deliver revenues of AUD$85 million in the 2013/14 financial year. After two years in operation, Health.com.au ranks in the top 15 private health funds in Australia.
The company has also grown internally from 25 to 41 staff members over the past year.
Sheats said the company aims to increase scale to such a size where it can drive positive change in the industry with greater transparency and better service in the sector.
“Delivering a better customer experience as well as our agility to make swift changes to respond to consumers needs, has helped us to quickly make an impact in a very competitive market,” he said.
“We want consumers to start expecting more from their health insurance provider by showing them -and the market – what best in class service really looks like.”
For health.com.au to make it to the top 10 private health insurers, Sheats estimated that the company would need to insure more than 200,000 people and generate premiums of approximately $300 million.
So how will they reach this goal? The plan isn’t all that secret. They’ll be winning over new customers and keeping them through great customer service.
“We build happy customers from the moment they come in the door by supporting them with an efficient and highly personalised service. We then track their ‘happiness’ over time with a ‘net happiness score’. This ensures that our decision making is directly aligned with customer needs,” Sheats said.
By the end of the 2014 calendar year, Sheats believes health.com.au will hit the $100 million revenue mark and predicts growth to continue at the same pace.
“The market opportunity is huge. The private health insurance sector is a $20B industry. We have strong support from our existing investors and customers have been very receptive to our offer so we are confident that we can continue to drive strong growth into future,” said Sheats.