India’s Practo Plans to Take Digital Health-Care Success Abroad

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Practo Technologies Private Ltd.’s audacious goal of bringing order to India’s chaotic health-care system is starting to bear fruit, helping to transform it into the country’s biggest online medical network. Now the startup is planning to go global.

Since debuting in 2008, the Bangalore-based company connects 60 million users, 200,000 doctors and 10,000 hospitals. More than 40 million appointments are booked each year via Practo, which also offers online consultations and home deliveries of medicine. Its software and mobile applications link people and doctors, as well as hospital systems, so that they can manage their visits, billing and inventory, while helping patients find physicians and access their digital medical records.

Much of that was unthinkable a few years ago, given India’s patchy, inefficient and sometimes corrupt health-care systems. As a result, the Bangalore-based company has attracted prominent investors such as Sequoia Capital, Google Capital, Tencent Holdings Ltd. and billionaire Yuri Milner of DST Global, and more than $124 million in funds to date. Practo was valued at $500 million in its latest financing round, and is getting ready to raise more funds.

 The company is expanding in Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore, and eyeing expansion in Latin America with an initial foray into Brazil in March. Like India, those countries have a multitude of health providers and low penetration of technology, along with an emerging tech-savvy middle class and soaring mobile Internet usage, according to Shashank N.D., Practo’s founder and chief executive officer.

“We want our technology platform to become a gateway to all health-care needs in fragmented markets around the world,” said the 28-year-old Shashank. “There is no Amazon or Uber yet in global health care, we want to be the Indian startup solving the idiosyncrasies in all health-care systems across the planet.”

Source: BloombergTechnology (link opens in a new window)

Health Care, Technology
healthcare technology, social enterprise