Doximity CEO ignored Silicon Valley wisdom and built a $10 billion health-tech company

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Jeff Tangney launched his first health-tech start-up, Epocrates, in the middle of the dot-com bubble. While the company survived the crash and eventually went public, the endgame was a disappointing acquisition for less than $300 million.

By the time Tangney started his next venture, Doximity, in 2010, he’d learned a few things: Don’t raise too much money. Don’t burn too much cash. Fix a real problem for doctors.

With Doximity, Tangney created a web service that’s both a professional network — think LinkedIn for doctors — and a secure way for medical experts to communicate and share information with patients and colleagues. It now counts 1.8 million medical pros in the U.S. as users, including over 80% of physicians.

On Thursday, Doximity debuted on the New York Stock Exchange, closing the week with a market cap of almost $10 billion after raising around $500 million in its IPO. Tangney’s stake is worth $2.9 billion.

Those are big numbers especially when you consider that, prior to this week, Doximity never showed up on a “unicorn” list of billion-dollar tech companies. Its last financing round in 2014 valued the company at under $400 million. Tangney said that because Doximity is profitable it still hasn’t touched the $50 million it raised seven years ago.

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