Raleigh-based tech startup Dendi wants clinical labs to test their patients, not their patience. That’s why they’ve created a platform to help laboratories scale and increase productivity.
Dendi CEO Jihoon Baek has known his two co-founders (COO George Zhao and CTO Simon Jung) since high school or before, and all three had worked in the software industry. They began to ask themselves what is truly impactful to them in life and what they could help improve in society.
Healthcare was at the top of the list. And Baek said there was a vacuum in the laboratory information systems market.
People now are more aware of how behind testing infrastructure is, he said, especially in terms of IT. But the Dendi team wanted to solve the problem long before the idea of a Covid-19 test was even a thing, founding the company back in December 2018.
“We knew about two years ago that it was an under-served market, especially in terms of technology,” Baek said. “People are working with the same old software systems that they were using 20 years ago, 30 years ago.”
The SaaS startup—which is a finalist for one of NC IDEA’s $50K SEED grants—is product-driven, Baek said. Dendi is taking the Salesforce approach of taking a concept and distilling it down to its core fundamentals and creating the most productized version of that concept. In essence, Dendi is the operational hub for everything that happens in a clinical lab under a monthly subscription business model.
Baek said their 20ish clients needed a system and a data solution to get results to patients effectively and efficiently.
“They need the workflows and operational software to get it done,” Baek said. “They need something new to be able to handle the sample volume and also just the sheer number of things to do, like integrations with other systems, as well as patient and provider engagement tools.”
With rapid coronavirus testing becoming a dire need throughout the year of 2020, Baek said Dendi’s growth accelerated because the platform is simple and easy to set up, especially for labs that are looking to diversify.
Dendi already has more than 70,000 patients within their system, with the majority of testing support coming for Covid-19. But Dendi has a plan beyond the novel coronavirus.
“Covid’s not going to last forever,” Baek said. “It will last, but it won’t last forever. So basically, the idea is that we want to use this opportunity as a springboard to get more customers and to really hammer out our core competency in the company, which is the product.”
When the coronavirus situation ends, Baek said Dendi will naturally expand to focus on other types of testing.
“We’re a product-driven company, and that’s not going to change,” he said. “We’re going to continue to really push the boundaries on what’s possible for our clients.”