Fruitstreet Raises $6m From 180 Customers for HealthTech, New Kind of VC with CEO Laurence Girard

laurence girard

In Episode #575, Nathan interviews Laurence Girard. He’s the CEO and founder of Fruit Street. He was a pre-med student at Harvard University Extension School for three years before he decided to pursue Fruit Street full-time and move to San Francisco. In high school, he played soccer for the New York Red Bulls Academy as a goalkeeper, which sparked his initial interest in health. Later, he decided to pursue a career focused on social impact and spent a year volunteering in an emergency room unit in Huntington Hospital, Long Island. He’s now exclusively focused in Fruit Street.



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Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The Science of Growth
  • What CEO do you follow? – Milton Chen
  • Favorite online tool? — eShares
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— 5 out of 7 days
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – Laurence would tell himself to put significant emphasis on the team when you are starting a company

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:25 – Nathan introduces Laurence to the show
  • 02:10 – Fruit Street is a telemedicine software product that is licensed to healthcare professionals
    • 02:19 – Fruit Street allows professionals to do HIPAA compliant video consultations with their client
    • 02:32 – Each patient has their personal info integrated with gadgets like Fitbit
    • 02:48 – Fruit Street uses a SaaS model and the professionals will pay a monthly licensing fee
  • 03:09 – MRR is $15K
  • 03:15 – Fruit Street was launched in May 2014
  • 03:33 – Average customer pay per month is $200 for the software
  • 03:43 – Fruit Street is starting to expand to get enterprise customers
  • 03:57 – Current customer number is around a hundred
  • 04:10 – 2016 total revenue
  • 04:37 – Gross customer churn
  • 05:30 – Current LTV
  • 06:00 – Team size is 9 full time and Fruit Street has a joint venture agreement with Vsee
  • 06:33 – Fruit Street is located in New York, and San Francisco
  • 06:51 – Laurence wanted Fruit Street to be funded by physicians and not VC firms
    • 07:00 – Getting the feedback from the physicians would help Fruit Street to improve
    • 07:17 – Physicians can get Fruit Street more customers
    • 07:29 – “Fruit Street is actually a public-benefit corporation”
  • 08:08 – There is no tax benefit in being a public-benefit corporation
  • 08:26 – Laurence wanted to attract investors that are primarily motivated by social impact and not by the financial outcome
  • 08:54 – Fruit Street reached out to physicians through LinkedIn advertising
    • 09:00 – Fruit Street gave the physicians a one-on-one call using Fruit Street’s telemedicine software
  • 09:18 – Fruit Street’s lawyer is using eShares to manage their cap table
  • 09:47 – Fruit Street has a structure that allows them to make quick decisions
  • 10:00 – Fruit Street has 180 shareholders that are not in a syndicate
  • 11:45 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. With new technology comes the advancement in telehealth, making it easier for patients to reach out to their physicians.
  2. Choose an investor that shares the same vision as you.
  3. Put a significant emphasis on the team you build when you are starting your business.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel
  • Toptal– Nathan found his development team using Toptal for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal
  • Host Gator– The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible.
  • Audible– Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • The Top Inbox – The site Nathan uses to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders in inbox, track opens, and follow-up with email sequences
  • Jamf – Jamf helped Nathan keep his Macbook Air 11” secure even when he left it in the airplane’s back seat pocket
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives