Vash Provisor

The app for check, track, and purchase medications
MY ROLE
Project Director
January 2016 - March 2018
My duties and responsibilities: product strategy, team building, business development and fundraising.

  • Hired and managed a team of six - software development, marketing
  • Developed and released within 5 months the mobile application that enabled users to purchase, manage, and track their medications in an easy and convenient manner.
  • Managed to secure deals with three pharmacy chains, which collectively operate 158 pharmacies
  • Application has reached 24k MAU with CAC of 0,4$ per install.

Idea
I joined the project from its inception - Alex and Sergey (founders) presented me with ideas based on two issues:
  • a common habit among many Russians - is buying and keeping medications for future use at home. It requires careful monitoring of, storage conditions, and expiration dates, as well as keeping track of which medications are running out.
  • the lack of effective mechanisms to promptly and effectively notify patients about the withdrawal of medications from the market.
This lack of communication posed a significant risk, particularly in cases of counterfeit shipments or the presence of fake substances in medications. The absence of a reliable notification system left patients vulnerable and uninformed about potential risks associated with the medications they were using.

After multiple meetings and conversations with the founders, we developed the idea for a mobile app that guides the patient through the process of purchasing, consuming, and storing medications. The founders had a comprehensive set of features in mind, which turned out to be extensive and necessitated considerable time and financial resources. I insisted on a step-by-step approach and the initial version incorporated three functions only:
  • Medications verification
  • Expiration dates monitoring
  • Refill reminder

Implementation
I built a compact team, 6 person in total - a UI/UX designer, a development team leader, a backend developer, two mobile app developers, and a growth manager.

The MVP was published in app stores in June 2016, we iteratively incorporated new features into the application while analyzing its usage. The integration with pharmacies began in November 2016, 45 pharmacies have been connected by March'17.

In June 2017, we achieved :
  • 30th-day retention - 28.5% (114% of the target)
  • Cost of acquisition - 0,04 USD (56% cheaper than budgeted)
  • Monthly active users - 24K users (120% of the target)
  • Number of manual verifications - 5.4K per month (180% of the target)
  • Number of medications added - 79.2 thousand items (165% of the target).
These features was implemented in the app:
  • Medications verification
  • Expiration dates monitoring
  • Refill reminder
  • Intake reminder
  • Contraindications and dosages check
  • Prescriptions storage
  • Pharmacies search
  • Price comparison
  • Medication availability check
  • Medication purchase
"Consultations with pharmacists" were in our plans for further development.

Evaluation
We checked various monetization ideas such as a paid app subscription and an advertising model, and decided to focus on earning commission from in-app drug purchases. We successfully signed contracts with three pharmacy chains in Moscow and onboarded 158 pharmacies.

After realizing that additional funding was necessary to scale the project, all 4 founders opted to seek external investment and put product development and promotion on hold until new funding was secured. My role evolved into that of a fundraiser over an 6-month period. We approached approximately 16 investors, including investment funds, corporations, and private investors. While we received approval from two startup accelerators, regrettably, the founders were unwilling to participate in accelerators.

With no prospects for project development, I transferred all assets to the founders and departed from the project.

Tools used:
Jira for the development process,
Confluence for development and user documentation
Balsamiq for mockups
Slack for inter-team communication.
Amazon AWS for infrastructure

MEDIA
Press, app UI, promos, videos