Medwing, a German startup aiming to address the shortage of healthcare workers in Europe, announced on Tuesday that it had secured € 28 million ($ 30 million) in a Series B financing round. Global venture capital firm Cathay Innovation led the round, making it the first investment in a German company. Other participating investors are Northzone, Cherry Ventures and Atlantic Labs.
The World Bank predicted a global shortage of 15 million health professionals by 2030, with demand highest in wealthy regions like Europe, with an aging workforce and an aging population in need of care.
The urgent problem was inspired by Johannes Roggendorf, who previously worked at Rocket Internet and Bain & Company to launch Medwing in 2017 and later co-founded Dr. Win Timo Fischer. The entrepreneurs found that, contrary to common wisdom, many healthcare workers in Europe wanted to do more and not less. One reason that jobs were not filled was the asymmetry of information that led to a mismatch between supply and demand.
"There is a group of people who are willing to work more if they can manage their schedule," Roggendorf told theinformationsuperhighway in a phone interview. "There are many skilled workers who have often left the health care system because of inflexible hours."
In a poll, the Medwing 50% of those who left the health system said that if they were given more flexible working conditions, they would return.
Medwing's solution is an automated job matching system that connects workers to hospitals, nursing homes and other medical facilities. The startup with a focus on Europe has so far registered more than 200,000 employees and 2,500 partner employers – including 80% hospitals in Berlin . Employers pay Medwing a commission every time a candidate is successfully placed. The platform adds 15,000 new applicants every month, employs over 100 health professionals in permanent positions and occupies around 2,000 individual shifts. According to Roggendorf, 20% of users are looking for permanent jobs.
The platform tries to differentiate itself by "starting with the candidates," said the founder. Unlike traditional recruitment agencies that look for recruiters based on recruiter criteria, Medwing does the opposite and filters recruiters based on applicant preferences, whether the job is flexible or permanent, part-time or full-time. It is an approach that the founder believes can optimize employee satisfaction. In addition to matchmaking, the platform also offers career guidance for job seekers.
To Jacky Abitbol, who oversaw the Cathay Innovation deal, Medwing is concerned with two types of technological innovations that its fund is looking for. On the one hand, Medwing is driving the “future of work” by giving employees more autonomy and freedom. The terminal, which companies can use to build remote engineering teams overseas, is another startup in this category funded by Cathay Innovation.
"Medwing is also bringing digital to a more traditional sector," Abitbol told theinformationsuperhighway on the phone. This means streamlining the recruitment process by eliminating agencies or middlemen, saving time and money for workers and employers.
"What sounds very logical has not been done so far," added the investor.
Medwing operates a team of over 200 employees from over 30 countries, many of whom have been hard hit by COVID-19. The startup offers some of its services to fight the virus free of charge and brings professionals and volunteers to hospitals, nursing homes and households that need help. Abitbol said that the impact of the health crisis on the startup's earnings remains "small" as only certain facilities are designated as coronavirus hospitals and demand will return to normal when the pandemic subsides.