Exclusive: Startup bttn. Takes On Medical Supply Ordering With $1.5M Seed
JT Garwood and Jack Miller started the Seattle-based company in March after seeing health care companies struggle during the global pandemic to pay fair prices for supplies as they competed with other entities due to shortages.
“My background is in software sales at Microsoft, and we started and then sold PPE.Exchange, a marketplace to alleviate supply shortages during the pandemic,” Garwood told Crunchbase News. “As we talked to health care companies, we learned how hard it was to purchase supplies at a fair price. After conversations with vendors, hospitals and clinics, we saw an opportunity to change the medical supply industry.”
Targeting the U.S. wholesale medical supply market, which is predicted to be valued at $243.3 billion this year according to IBISWorld, bttn. developed a platform aimed at cutting out middlemen, offering direct-from-manufacturer pricing and providing a better ordering experience.
Its marketplace eliminates the need for exclusive and restrictive contracts and enables providers to save between 20 percent and 40 percent on their medical supply bills, while also taking advantage of improved shipping and delivery speeds, Garwood said.
“We are taking a process that traditionally involved fax machines or a sales rep, and putting it on a web application for order automation,” he added. “You can build a cart with gowns and syringes and then subscribe on a 30-, 60- or 90-day basis.”
In its first three months of operation, bttn. secured more than 300 customers and did more than $500,000 in sales, he added. In addition, the company formed partnerships with 11 health care associations and have 20 more being finalized.
The company will use the funds to expand its technical, sales and operations teams.
Deshpande, co-founder and CEO of Farmers Business Network, said in an interview that when he met Garwood, he admired his mission-driven approach to lowering costs for health care businesses.
“bttn. is bringing transparency to small businesses,” he added. “JT and Jack understand where small hospital systems are coming from when buying goods, and have easier options for how to do it. I liked the gritty way they launched and got initial traction. They have a big potential to make an impact and be a big company.”