Of course I’m thrilled with our announcement today regarding our funding round. Greylock has already proven to be a partner in more ways than simply handing over a bag of money; they’re outstanding in their ability to guide and fuel growth in strategic areas of the business. I’m lucky—our previous investors, Venrock and Harrison Metal, have also been fantastic partners.
But the funding isn’t the only point of the announcement, or to me even the most interesting one. My co-founder, Dr. Rusty Hofmann, had the idea for Grand Rounds because he was able to save his son Grady’s life by finding just the right physician who could help Grady with an obscure, deadly condition. Rusty and I wanted to build a company that could enable everyone, everywhere to access the same caliber of quality medical care–even if they didn’t have a single connection in the medical community. We wanted to do this for lots of people. Millions.
To me, that’s the real crux of today’s announcement. It’s not the funding–it’s that we’re announcing that Grand Rounds now covers 1 million lives.
Getting that many people into the Grand Rounds world, and to do it so fast and with an unrelenting focus on quality, is what I’m most proud of. It’s just a start, of course–our next stated milestone is 5 million lives. And there will be many more growth milestones after that. But we’ve made a great start and my colleagues and I are energized to create more access to state-of-the-art care.
Rather than recite the usual growth stats, let me briefly tell you a few stories that, to me, are more important–some of the patients we’ve helped. These are people who have graciously allowed us to use their real names and stories, solely for the purpose of helping others find out about what we do.
Pat – This 20 something man was told by his treating physician that his headaches were caused by a sinus infection. It turned out to be a series of brain tumors. Pat contacted Grand Rounds, who provided him with 24 hour access to a premier neurosurgeon in Boston. Within a week, Pat was out of surgery and tumor-free: “After a terrible experience with my former doctor, having Grand Rounds on my side gave me the reassurance I needed that I was getting the best possible care.”
Don – Imagine being told by your doctor that your leg has to be amputated. That’s the nightmarish experience that Don faced after his treating physician tried and failed to resolve Don’s peripheral artery condition. Terrified, Don turned to Grand Rounds—and was matched with a physician who was able to perform a highly difficult angioplasty and save Don’s leg. “Grand Rounds made all the different in my personal outcome,” Don told us.
Gabi – This young woman faced a spouse’s greatest fear: having a loved one in the hospital, and being solely responsible for making critical decisions regarding care. In this case, her husband Andreas was being seen for a mysterious, life-threatening illness that none of his doctors could understand, much less diagnose and treat. Gabi contacted Grand Rounds—and within hours, our expert had figured out that Andreas had contracted a rare bacteria illness on a recent kayaking trip. “Grand Rounds amazed me,” Gabi said. “You get the best service, the best attention, and you don’t have to travel a great distance to get the best care. They saved my husband’s life.”
Healthcare is a big problem. I could spend the rest of my life solving it (and I may well do so). But as Grand Rounds continues its high growth story, what keeps me energized is the people we’re helping along the way. Right now, our universe is over 1 million people. Our next stop is 5 million. That’s a lot of patient stories waiting to happen–and a lot of people who will find out that they, too, can gain the benefit of having world-leading doctors on their side, working tirelessly to make them healthy.