We speak to Pratyay Poddar, Founder and CEO of Perfexia.
How would you introduce Perfexia to someone that has not heard of it before?
Perfexia is a data-driven and research-intensive healthtech startup based in Cambridge. Our mission is to make the world a healthier place by encouraging people to take selfies. Our technology turns smartphones into vital signs measurement and monitoring tools. We optimise the usage and scheduling of GP appointments.
Where did you hear about the Accelerator programme provided by Cambridge Judge Business School?
Perfexia wasn’t my maiden introduction to Accelerate Cambridge (AC) programme. I was part of AC through another Cambridge based startup I worked for briefly before starting Perfexia. Reinhard Eschbach – a mentor at AC – asked me to apply for the programme with Perfexia and the rest is history.
At the Accelerate Cambridge programme at Cambridge Judge (CJBS), we are establishing evidence of genuine customer demand for our product, accessing resources within the value chain, and understanding the competitive landscape. This, in turn, has helped us with discovering the most promising applications for our technology, developing a compelling customer value proposition, and protecting our IP. However, we are now facing the challenges (and opportunities) of scaling – things like growth & product strategy, organisational scaling – so, we are planning to apply for S2021 batch at Y Combinator which can help Perfexia to get to the next level.
Perfexia has been growing at a very fast pace. What are you most proud of?
The team. I still remember that afternoon when I was in my room with another team member from Cambridge and started coding the very first version of the app which, after many iterations by our talented developers, would be known to the world as DocMe. Did I believe in our technology? Yes. Did I see a clear business plan? No. So, I needed a lot of people to believe in me and build this together. Frankly, I wasn’t so sure that it would be possible. Slowly but surely, people started to accept us – whether we were hiring people or raising investment, we were getting fewer rejections. That was a massive boost for the team. The result is from 1 to 15 team members, over 1.25mn lines of codes, getting the MVP released and starting to secure early adopters – all under eight months which proves that we have formed a team that has the passion, skills, commitment, and more importantly, the ability to deliver regardless of the environment.
What is Perfexia looking forward to in 2021?
As we look to 2021, there is a sense of great purpose and creative excitement at Perfexia. Training our algorithms and its clinical validation in the UK will be essential for our next steps. Certainly, COVID-19 poses a threat to those milestones. However, a robust contingency plan has been developed that, hopefully, will enable the data training programme to remain unaffected. We expect to start earning revenue in Q2 (2021) and attend S2021 at Y Combinator programme. So, a great deal of work will go into that as well as product iteration towards a better product-market fit. By Q3, we will aim to get our technology validated by FDA and enter the US and Canadian market late 2021/early 2022.
Perfexia is supported by the Accelerate Cambridge programme.
This seems quite interesting – is temperature included in the vital signs?