He Has $25B In Medical Tech Exits, $2B Raised, He’s Sitting On PhotoTherapy $1b+ Bet Now with CEO Jim Sweeney

James Sweeney

In Episode #641, Nathan interviews Jim Sweeney. He’s the CEO and one of the founders of Clarify Medical. He began his entrepreneurial journey at Sharp Hospital where he worked full-time delivering hospital supplies while still in high school. He then spent 3 years in the US Army Medical Corps where he ran a remote, medical service dispensary serving 2500 families in Germany. He received a degree in business from San Diego State University. James has founded 12 medical companies including Caremark, Caps, Corum, Bridge Medical, CardioNet and co-founded Owned Outcomes. He’s also led a successful leveraged buyout or LBO with McGaw Labs which he took public and is now owned by BBraun. His financing history includes raising venture capital and expansion capital for his ideas leading to over $25B in exit values of companies he founded.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Zero to One
  • What CEO do you follow? – David Hale
  • Favorite online tool? — N/A
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Between 4-6
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – Jim wished he knew “that the government would have the amount of influence on health care that they have, today”

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:49 – Nathan introduces Jim to the show
  • 02:53 – Clarify Medical has a first-mover advantage in the dermatology space
    • 03:00 – They have well-established treatments for various skin diseases
    • 03:17 – They’ve developed a device that will enable people to self-treat at home, using their smartphones
    • 03:33 – The device will be launched directly to the patients
    • 03:40 – The device is called Clarify Mobile UVB treatment system
  • 03:59 – There are over 33M Americans who suffer from skin disease
  • 04:21 – The device can be connected through the smartphone
  • 04:51 – Jim has raised a little over $2B in venture capital
  • 04:55 – Jim had an exit value of $25B for his companies
  • 05:06 – There are exits via IPO and sales
  • 05:40 – Jim shares why he decided to have an LBO with McGaw Labs
    • 05:56 – Jim had been an employee of the company so he acquired the company with prior knowledge of what their issues were
    • 06:26 – The deal was in mid-October 1990
    • 06:33 – The company’s valuation
    • 07:27 – Jim bought the company with his friends
  • 07:47 – The Clarify Mobile UVB treatment system device will sell for $600 or can be leased for $39 per month
  • 08:15 – Jim expects to have long relationships with their patients because some of their skin diseases are life-long conditions
  • 08:30 – If the device didn’t exist, patients would spend $100 annually for therapeutic drugs which have various side-effects
  • 09:30 – Obamacare has allowed Clarify to go directly to the consumers
  • 09:43 – Jim thinks the total costs of Obamacare haven’t been exposed
  • 10:35 – Jim expects more medical companies will go directly to consumers
    • 10:42 – The bad news is that people will spend more directly from their pockets than in the past
    • 10:50 – The good news is doctors are now seen as customers
    • 11:11 – The solution for healthcare is for patients to be more engaged with their healthcare providers
  • 11:33 – Clarify will start generating revenue from the device later this year
  • 11:36 – Jim has already raised $6M and is still looking to raise another $12-15M in the next few months
  • 12:00 – Jim doesn’t have a scientific explanation on how he came up with the pre-money valuation
    • 12:22 – All of Clarify’s financing at this point is from their pre series A round
  • 12:43 – Team size is 12 but will double in the next few months
    • 12:50 – The company is based in San Diego
  • 13:00 – Jim can’t disclose the cost of making the device
    • 13:43 – The cost will carry a respectable margin
    • 13:47 – The app will be sold for $9.99 per month, on a subscription basis
  • 14:25 – Jim believes that Clarify’s valuation will be into the billions for IPO exits
  • 15:45 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. More healthcare providers are now going directly to consumers and are skipping the third-party service.
  2. Knowing a company by heart will make it easier for you to make a fair valuation.
  3. Making your employees a share holder of your company will definitely change their attitude towards the job, leading to a more successful company.

Resources Mentioned:

  • 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
  • Organifi – The juice was Nathan’s life saver during his trip in Southeast Asia
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • 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
  • 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