Florian Semler

November 14, 2023

The digital dermatologist

I have a dermatological problem, for example  blemishes on my face: Why should I turn to FORMEL Skin?

The classic route via the general practitioner is often associated with great frustration. 50 % of our patients have already taken this route, the other 50 % are, or have been, treated by dermatologists

With us, the focus is always on the patient.

You fill out a questionnaire, upload pictures, are diagnosed by our doctors and receive individually formulated medications on a monthly basis. These are compounded in the pharmacy and sent to you. We take you by the hand and guide you through the therapy until the desired result is achieved.

Why can’t my doctor cover this?

You can’t blame the doctors at all. They have to run their practice profitably. In Germany, a dermatologist receives an average of around € 15 per quarter from the statutory insurance scheme, regardless of whether a patient comes in once or three times. It is just not possible to react to the dynamic clinical state and regularly adjust the medication accordingly. But that should be possible if we want to achieve joint success. With individualized digital therapy. We solve the problem, and help the doctor.

In what way?

Dermatologists are very busy. Of course, there are topics such as melanoma detection, for which you will have to go further into the practice. But in dermatology in particular, there are many fields where a visual diagnosis is possible – an insane potential for digitization. The results will be better, patient satisfaction will be higher. And doctors will have more time for more serious cases or treatments. So, we can take pressure off the overall system with our offering. We are in very close communication with the Association of German Dermatologists, and with the medical associations in Germany. We also have a partnership with the Association of Private Health Insurance Companies.

You launched the product in mid-2020 and received funding of € 30 million at the end of 2021. Where do you stand right now?

Since we started, we have had 500,000 treatments. We currently have 20 doctors working for us, and we are one of the largest telemedicine providers in Germany. Since May, we no longer cater just to selected fields like acne or neurodermatitis, but to all dermatological diseases.

In the end, we are the one-stopshop for the patient.

There will also be a new, very low-threshold product – a one-off skin diagnosis for around € 12.

How do things look in terms of profitability?

Of course, this is an issue that always concerns us. Last year, we took big steps towards profitability, also to be more independent from the capital markets.

Growth yes, but on the other hand you don’t always want to raise more money.

Along the way, we also had to lay off people. That’s when you ask yourself as a founder what we could have done differently or better. That was an incredibly hard and intense time with many sleepless nights. In the meantime, however, we are running a very sustainable business and have a very clear path to profitability. If we want to, we can switch the cash flow to positive in the relatively short term.

What would you like to see in the future  of FORMEL Skin?

We want to be the number one dermatologist. Everyone who has a dermatological problem should think of us first and then be satisfied with the treatment.

Florian Semler

Co-founder of FORMEL Skin