While the sheer mention of health technologies might send a shudder down your spine in the light of the infamous case of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos, one Lithuanian company proves that there’s substance behind the idea of revolutionising the traditional health and wellness industries. The second fastest-growing company in Europe on the FT 1000 ranking, the second-fastest growing company in Central Europe on the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 list – Kilo Health is on its way to reimagining the way we think about our health.
How it all started
Kilo Health’s origin story complies with every single cliché we have about how startups are born: their first product was launched by a team of seven in a tiny office room. Fast forward ten years and we are now looking at a company with 4+ million paying customers (dominated by US users), 15 products, offices in five European cities and a team of 550+ talents.
A range of digital health products
Now going back to the actual substance behind the fairy tale. Driven by a general frustration with traditional health services, Kilo Health has a range of digital health products, from mental health apps to weight management programs. They provide tools to prevent, manage, or treat various health conditions, focusing on developing chronic condition management products. Some notable products include:
Klinio – for diabetes management
Sensa – for mental health and wellness support
Cardi.Health – for cardiovascular health
Keto Cycle – for keto-powered nutrition
DoFasting – for following a healthy intermittent fasting routine
On the hunt for talent
We asked the company’s Co-Founder and CEO Tadas Burgaila about what he thinks has been the biggest driver of growth: “I would say that staying independent is a crucial part of Kilo Health’s success. It allows us to quickly try out and launch new products. Also, we have invested millions into other digital health startups over the last 12 months (and even more on our radar). We are continually on the lookout for talented teams to collaborate on developing innovative digital health solutions to service this fast-growing market. We experiment, we are ambitious, and we’re not afraid to be bold and stand out.”
As if the land has been fertilised with stardust for young business innovators, it seems a new startup is popping up every two days in the Baltics. Nevertheless, our tiny population comes with its setbacks, for instance, the lack of homegrown talent and small domestic markets. Tadas believes that coming from a small country doesn’t allow for thinking small and praises the close-knit community: “I would say it’s quite easy to network with fellow professionals since there is a close-knit business community. For instance, I am one of the co-founders of Unicorns.lt. However, looking for new professionals can be quite challenging, especially if your company is fast-growing. Lithuanians have learned to be good managers, marketers, and designers, but to create something that can compete from scratch – we're not quite as brave yet. It isn’t about the lack of competence here, but the courage and confidence that we can be world leaders.”
In order to stimulate the growth of local talent they have created programs like Kilo Academy or Co-found, where the main goal is to give people an opportunity to get a headstart on their tech career path in the digital health and wellness sector. Similar educational initiatives are emerging across different sectors. Remember Printful, the Latvian unicorn? They’re also running a free business school to encourage young entrepreneurs on their first steps in business.
Agility meets data
Speaking about marketing, Kilo Health has attributed some of its success to their agile marketing team who were able to test crazy ideas in real-time. They then chose the best ones by vigorously tracking key sales metrics and making quick data-driven decisions. At the moment, they are looking into building B2B partnerships, which will include providing personalised care for each employee, reduced costs for business, and tailored engagement plans. Kilo Health is also looking forward to creating their first-ever sales team.
As for mistakes, Tadas points out an early misstep which he hopes can be useful lesson for others: “One of the mistakes we made in the beginning was not having enough talent in our customer support when we began to grow promptly. This meant delays while answering messages our clients sent us. If we could do this one more time, I would definitely make sure we have enough resources to create excellent customer experiences from day one.”
We end our story on an inspirational note. The battle between corporations VS startups has been bounced around in several conversations we’ve had lately. Tadas is no exception. He encourages other entrepreneurs not to be afraid of the corporate types: “They are not as smart as they look. Often, wealthy corporations are very slow, and you, together with a small and focused team, can outrun them easily. Don’t play by the rules!”
Cover picture sourced from accesswire.com