1st Group (ASX:1ST) connecting consumers with essential services


by Anna Napoli

1st Group Limited (ASX:1ST) Managing Director, CEO and Co-Founder, Klaus Bartosch talks about the company's portfolio of convenient, secure, booking and online interaction apps covering health, pet care and government services.

Anna Napoli: Hello. Anna Napoli from the Finance News Network. And joining me now from 1st Group Limited (ASX:1ST) is CEO and Co-Founder Klaus Bartosch. Klaus, welcome to FNN.

Klaus Bartosch: Yeah, hi, Anna. How are you?

Anna Napoli: Good, thank you. First up, can you tell our audience a little bit about 1st Group?

Klaus Bartosch: Yeah, look, the problem we're solving as a company is a very simple one, which is that everything that we do as consumers, as patients with health care, is hard. Accessing them is hard, booking appointments with them is hard, interacting with them is difficult. And it's because here we are, it's the age of the internet, and we're still required to pick up the telephone to book an appointment during business hours to get access to these vital services. So our company's job and our platforms are all about simplifying more of what we do as patients, as consumers, by moving more of that online, and it starts with booking an appointment online and being able to do that at the convenience 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in the same way we do everything else we do online.

Anna Napoli: Now, Klaus, before we talk about your different portals, can you tell us exactly what it is you're trying to achieve?

Klaus Bartosch: Today there are some 47 million appointments being booked over the telephone every single month in just Australia and in just private practice, so our job, our goal, is to shift the bulk of those to enable us to interact online. We have a broad range of health care services that we support today, over 6,000 businesses now nationally. And our key objective is to bring as many of those health care companies onto our platform as we can. While over 6,000 sounds like a big number, there are over 150,000 business in Australia that we can and could service.

Anna Napoli: Now could you tell us about your portfolio, starting with MyHealth1st.com.au?

Klaus Bartosch: MyHealth1st.com.au is a platform that now services over 6,000 Australian health care businesses across the country, and what we do is we make it simple for patients to go to the portal when they're finding and looking for new services for the first time, or if they happen to be on a practice's website, they can also book through the practice's website through one of our website widgets that allows them to launch the booking function to book an appointment. But booking an appointment is only one part of what the MyHealth1st platform does. It also simplifies, when you arrive at a practice, no need to arrive at the reception desk to check in, you walk up to a check-in kiosk and check in with your Medicare card as an example. And when you've had your consult with your doctor or dentist, post your consult you get invited to provide feedback on not only your experience with that doctor and the practice, but did you understand what it was that was being told to you? And it gives the practice an opportunity to re-engage that patient who might have left that consult perhaps a little confused about the kind of services or the kind of things that might have been shared with them.

Anna Napoli: Fantastic. And what about PetYeti.com.au?

Klaus Bartosch: Yeah, so PetYeti is the platform to look after the other family members that many of us have, the fluffy ones. And so not only can you look after the health of your children, but you can also look after the health of your pets. So through PetYeti you're able to book veterinary services and grooming services, and so two of our major clients on PetYeti, for example, are Greencross and Petbarn, and so it's again about simply making the things we do easier.

Anna Napoli: And what about GoBookings.com.au?

Klaus Bartosch: So GoBookings is a rich, underlying appointment booking function, and it services the broader health care marketplace that we provide, so think of it as the underlying software as a service technology that MyHealth1st and PetYeti exploit.

Anna Napoli: Can you give us a snapshot of your financials, including the split between recurring and transactional revenue?

Klaus Bartosch: We have four sources of revenue: subscription fees, set-up fees, usage fees and advertising fees. Subscription fees, which is our monthly recurring revenue subscription fees, has been the mainstay of the company for many years when we first started to launch the company. And what we've been doing over the last two years in particular is adding advertising revenue and usage fees as additional new revenue lines and new products to our network and to our platform itself.

Anna Napoli: And, Klaus, can you tell us about your company's strategy, and how you're progressing?

Klaus Bartosch: So we, over the last two years, have executed some quite specific strategies to grow and scale and prove our business model across new markets. In particular, we've grown from 10% to over 65% now of all Australian pharmacies in Australia that now use our technology. We've now got over 60% of optometrists, independent optometrists, on our platform, and a growing large market of veterinary services and pet services.

Anna Napoli: Last question, Klaus. Why should investors consider adding 1st Group to their portfolio?

Klaus Bartosch: When investors think about our company they need to understand the long-term nature of what we're building and the sheer size and scale of the opportunity, even in just Australia alone. We're operating in a $1.9 billion market based on our current fee structures and current known product opportunities. My kind of background and my history was surrounded with people from companies like Realestate.com.au, Carsales and Seek, and so when I think about where are we going as a company, well, long term it's about trying to build that kind of organisation, that kind of business in a marketplace that is frankly larger than all those other online companies combined.

Anna Napoli: Klaus Bartosch, thank you for the update.

Klaus Bartosch: Thanks, Anna. I really appreciate it.