Unitus Seed Fund Expands Its India StartHealth Investment Program
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Unitus Seed Fund, the leading impact venture seed fund investing in startups innovating for the masses in India, announced that it is doubling down on its StartHealth investing initiative targeting investments of INR 15 crore in 6 new early-stage health technology startups. With partners such as Pfizer, PATH, Manipal Hospitals and Narayana Health, the StartHealth program provides flexible funding, expert support, and mentorship as well as access to healthcare facilities to accelerate the go-to-market path for promising startups. Unitus also announced that Dr. Ashwin Naik, founder of Vaatsalya hospitals, will be joining as a healthcare fund advisor to help support healthcare entrepreneurs invested in by Unitus. Separately, StartHealth participant UE LifeSciences announced earlier this week that it has raised a INR 19.5 crore Series A investment round led by Aarin Capital.
Closing India’s Healthcare Gap Requires Disruptive, Breakthrough Innovation
India’s 125 crore population is vastly diverse, and geography and affordability are major hurdles in access to medical care. India has a doctor: patient ratio of 1: 6300, 6x worse than the WHO-recommended minimum of 1: 1000. The Indian healthcare industry is in dire need of new appropriate products, services and delivery systems. The huge chasm between demand and supply in medical care represents a major public health crisis, but also presents a tremendous opportunity for healthcare entrepreneurs to step in and find innovative solutions. Technology has the power to harness India’s scarce medical resources most effectively to provide affordable and easily-accessible care to India’s masses.
“We are excited to be a part of the StartHealth initiative embracing the belief that disruptive technologies are the key to increased healthcare outreach,” said Dr. Vivek Ahuja, Director, PATH India. “PATH hopes to bring its extensive global health expertise to help accelerate the go-to-market efforts of entrepreneurs seeking to transform the healthcare sector in India and beyond.”
StartHealth health-tech investment program will invest in 6 new startups
With additional funding support from Pfizer and Pfizer Foundation, Unitus Seed Fund is expanding its StartHealth health technology startup investing program in India. The StartHealth program is an initiative to identify, mentor, support and invest in healthcare technology ventures working on breakthrough solutions to serve the masses in India – the 20 crore families living on a household income base of under INR 25,000 per month. As these startups experiment with new technology, service delivery and business models, this program provides expert mentoring and support in their clinical studies, validation processes, and regulatory compliances. The StartHealth mentor network includes experts from Narayana Health hospitals, Manipal Hospitals and PATH who support the startups in their journey to launch their solutions in the market.
Additionally, the StartHealth program provides non-dilutive capital of up to INR 50 lahks to help startups complete the milestones necessary for a successful commercial launch. Upon the completion of these milestones, Unitus Seed Fund invests venture seed capital of up to INR 2 crore. With the expansion of the StartHealth program, Unitus will invest up to INR 15 crore in 6 new healthcare technology startups in India.