India’s Practo Raises $55M to Expand Its Healthcare Platform to More Emerging Markets
India-based Practo, a startup that helps consumers locate doctors and healthcare information, has closed a $55 million Series D funding round that will fuel an expansion into more emerging markets worldwide.
The investment is led by Tencent, the Chinese internet giant that led Practo’s $90 million Series C in 2015, with participation from three new backers: Russia’s Ru-Net, RSI Fund (from Japan-based Recruit) and New York’s Thrive Capital. Existing investors Sequoia, Matrix, Capital G (formerly Google Capital), Altimeter Capital and Sofina also put in. The round takes Practo’s total sum raised from investors to around $180 million.
I’ve always been quite taken with Practo, because it tackles an issue that impacts everyone — healthcare — in a way that is designed for emerging markets, where the problem is most acute. Primarily it is a platform for finding a doctor which is not straightforward in India or other emerging markets, but it also includes information provided by doctors and a Q&A feature for soliciting advice or basic answers.
That’s important because access to medical professionals is low in emerging markets. According to data from World Bank, India has just 0.7 physicians per 1,000 people — and even that is a push in rural areas. The UK and U.S. are far higher at 2.8 and 2.5, respectively.