Cape Town-based startup LocumBase was formed when founder Zulé Vuuren decided to develop a solution for her partner Tanya, a locum optometrist, who was experiencing difficulties in managing her life as a freelancer, or locum.
This was in 2016, and Vuuren was also doing the rounds at optometry practices as a trainer and sales representative, where she was learning about the other side of the equation, where practices face multiple challenges when attempting to source a locum.
All this gave her the idea for LocumBase, an independent platform that connects locums with practices that need them most. Locums list of the platform, are verified, and can then be booked by practices, with LocumBase handling all the administration.
“LocumBase provides an organisational business tool that empowers locums to earn their worth and practices to grow their business without the drawbacks of unnecessary admin, time wastage and potentially high recruitment fees,” Vuuren told Disrupt Africa.
“By forming relationships with industry providers, LocumBase creates a supportive ecosystem that serves as a one-stop-shop to make the most of professional practice hours, as a locum and as a practice.”
Such a service has been welcomed by the market, with Vuuren saying both locums and practices have been excited to try a new way of working. It has grown to list around 3,000 locums across various medical fields, and now has a team of six. It is used by 500 practices. There is still plenty of room for growth, however, with more than 350,000 medical professionals working in South Africa alone, and almost 30,000 different practices.
LocumBase, which received angel funding in early 2018 from Michael Jordaan’s Montegray Capital and Justin Clarke’s Powerhouse Ventures, is free for locums and charges practices a monthly, customised subscription, is active across the country, with Johannesburg and Cape Town seeing the most action.
“We have future plans to expand to the rapidly developing economies of the rest of Africa,” said Vuuren.