By YOURI KEMP
and NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Reporters
A former Cabinet minister yesterday revealed he is targeting a maximum $2m capital raise via the ArawakX crowdfunding platform as he bids to expand his food treatment network throughout The Bahamas and the Caribbean.
Dr Daniel Johnson, ex-minister of youth, sports and culture, said the Foot Care RX offering aims to secure sufficient financing to launch ten clinics in The Bahamas - five in New Providence and the same amount in the Family Islands.
The company’s chief executive, he added that Foot Care RX was looking beyond The Bahamas’ borders with ambitions to establish a further five clinics in the Caribbean. “We want to put five clinics in Nassau and put five in the Family Islands. We have five requests in the Caribbean region,” Dr Johnson said.
“We have Carmichael Road open now, we have Fort Charlotte. We’re going to do something on Prince Charles Drive that we’re looking at now, and probably one in Palmdale. We have to go and open in Freeport, where we have our satellites that are functioning once a week, but we have to open every day in Grand Bahama, Abaco, Eleuthera, Exuma and Andros.”
The Caribbean islands that have expressed an interest in Foot Care RX and its treatment offerings are Bermuda, Barbados, Jamaica, the Turks and Caicos Islands and an as-yet unidentified island. The company is offering a total of 200,000 shares, priced at $10 per share and with a minimum investment floor of $50, to crowdfunding investors.
ArawakX’s website last night showed that Foot Care RX has already raised $112,850, or 75 percent, of its minimum $150,000 raise - a target well below the maximum $2m, and which it almost certainly will hit. Foot Care RX, in its pitch to investors, says it plans to offer affordable treatments for “foot disorders” that typically go unattended due to high healthcare costs. It will give patients a way to access preventative care via examinations and maintaining good foot health.
The company said its products will reduce diabetic food surgeries and amputations in The Bahamas, and wider Caribbean, by up to 50 percent. “Many diabetic foot amputations could easily be avoidable if patients simply have regular checks by a health practitioner before complications occur,” it added. “High risk individuals with chronic disorders such as arthritis, and vascular problems are also an underserved market.”
Foot Care RX believes there are 600,000 diabetic patients in the English-speaking Caribbean, and it is aiming to service 65,000 or 11 percent of that market. It plans to expand via a franchise model, where it will receive a 20 percent royalty from clinic franchisees on two revenue streams - the examination fee and sale of Foot Care RX branded medical supplies. Given that both are estimated to cost and average $50, Foot Care RX will earn $20 from each patient visit
Franchisees will be provided with machines to perform the necessary examinations and diagnosis. Dr Johnson said he is aiming for the New Providence locations to be built out by next year and, one year after that, for the Caribbean clinics to also be complete and operational.
He added: “And in three to five years, you will see this company on the ArawakX Bahamian stock exchange, getting ready to do dividends, and we are going to be issuing 20 percent of the profits every year after three years and people will see the value of their shares as we grow.”
Foot Care RX will go beyond just medical treatment with a retail side to its business. It will offer “everything feet” - from anti-fungal treatment to treatments for fallen arches, achilles tendons and calf injuries, swollen legs and dermatitis. Dr Johnson added: “This will be stuff that will be on a retail shelf, and you will get the guidance and the advice. This is retail storefront medicine at your fingertips. The retail part of this business is going to be bigger than the medical part.”
Foot injuries are significant in The Bahamas and the wider Caribbean, with one out of three Bahamians being admitted to hospital with diabetic-related foot problems. “Barbados is leading the world in amputation with no let up in sight and we are not far behind,” Dr Johnson said.
He added that Foot Care RX is fully accredited by all insurers in The Bahamas. “The insurance industry is going to call us one day and offer our shareholders a massive amount of money because this programme will save them a third of their cost of hospitalisation. This is population medicine,” Dr Johnson said.