Case Study: Zentist

Learn how B2B2C health startups build an effective product and maintain high engagement when their clients (in this case, providers) aren't the end users.



36% MoM Growth for last 8 months

Successfully raised $2M seed round

Reached annualized GMV of $4.5M

Zentist is a dental care platform that provides full virtual diagnostics and financing options to help consumers find and access dental care. Zentist diagnostics and pricing technology functions are all ran on AI-powered CT/X-Ray readings and a big data approach.



How do you build an effective product and maintain high engagement when your clients (in this case, providers) aren't the end users?

  • Encouraging consumers to trust Zentist with their toughest healthcare decisions requires a strong brand presence and great engagement 

  • Learning about the decision-making process, motivations, and challenges of consumers takes time



  • Internalizing an experimentation culture: frequent check-ins with growth-hackers and formerly successful entrepreneurs ensured the company was planning and executing quickly on a backlog of growth strategies / "experiments"

  • Focusing on key metrics that matter: coaches provided valuable lessons on team management, and actively ensuring that all team-members were focused on certain key metrics helped with prioritization of various business function

  • Implementing proven growth hacking strategies: mentors sat down weekly to help the team contextualize and understand the results of various experiments, and provided ideas regarding strategies for future sales and marketing experiments 

  • Validating Product-Market fit: experts from healthcare helped to sharpen the value proposition to the various stakeholders involved, which - in addition to insights provided by various experiments - helped to solidify and validate product-market fit


36% MoM Growth for last 8 months

Rigorous evaluation of the results provided by organized experimentation helped Zentist repeatedly determine pain-points amongst consumers and dentists, which ultimately refined product development and marketing messaging. These efforts have helped realize sustained growth.

Reached annualized GMV of $4.5M

Since joining the program in Aug. 2016, Zentist has on-boarded several hundred new dental clinics and expanded the breadth of services offered; such measures have led to an annualized GMV of $4.5M.

Successfully raised $2M seed round

Showing sustained growth and improvement across various key metrics helped Zentist attract investors and close a seed round of $2M.

Ato Kasymov,


Zentist started out as a medical travel platform and, because of our backgrounds being founders of previously successful consumer healthcare ventures, we did not feel confident pivoting based on the feedback and real world data. 500 Startups helped us have a constant growth mindset, and we embraced the change in our strategy immediately.

Manu Kurbonali, Co-Founder

"Embrace what doesn’t work” is my main takeaway from 500 Startups. Before joining 500 Startups, I was an extremely risk averse entrepreneur and every failed growth / acquisition tactic was a bad experience for me. 500 really sequences your marketing DNA and reorders your growth nucleotides in such a way that you turn your failed efforts into valuable experiments you can learn from.

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