In September 2016, Solv, a healthcare technology startup that connects patients to urgent care providers, launched its private beta in Dallas. The San Francisco-based company specifically targeted Dallas-Fort Worth as its first market, aiming to see how its mobile-driven consumer product fares in a tech-forward, young-family demographic.
With CEO Heather Fernandez and her executive team splitting their time between the Uptown office and California, the company has managed to attract 60,000 Dallasites using Solv exclusively in DFW, and is projected to continue its growth. I spoke with Fernandez about Solv’s founding and future plans to grow in DFW, “the market we want to be in.”
How did this idea come about?
“My co-founder Daniele Farnedi and I first met at the real estate company Trulia, where we joined the team in 2006. There, it was about helping customers make better decisions about real estate through technology. Over time, I noticed that there was a role technology could play in healthcare in connecting consumers and having their questions answered when they’re seeking medical care. So [Farnedi] and I started Solv to make it easy to see a doctor for everyday health issues.”
So how does Solv work, and when would you use it?
“Solv is a mobile-friendly service that allows you to find and book a same-day doctor’s appointment at an urgent care clinic near you and skip the wait. You can also see if your insurance is accepted, or if you’re paying out-of-pocket, see cash prices, to eliminate any surprises once you get there. It’s ideally used for ‘sick visits,’ when you’re feeling unwell, if you need a shot or blood tests, or if there’s an injury when primary doctors’ offices are closed.”
You’re based in San Francisco but chose DFW as your target market. You said you will possibly move part of your headquarters here. Why is that?
“Our funding is mostly from Silicon Valley. But also, San Francisco is not as accurately representative of the U.S. as Dallas is. The market here is well receptive to technology and has a high percentage of young families. This was favorable to our consumer and target market. And from the provider side, there are so many options here– we thought testing our product here could help weed out and decrease consumer confusion.”
What does the future look like for Solv in DFW?
“This is the market we want to be in, and where we’re spending our time. We’re going to work on refining our consumer product and streamlining the workflow and reducing the wait [time] for consumers to access urgent care. We want to be where you need to get something resolved and help navigate you to make the right decision.”