Practo raises $55 million from China’s Tencent, existing investors

The fresh fundraising values healthcare start-up Practo at $600-650 million


Practo plans to enter the health insurance segment through partnerships with existing businesses, said its co-founder Shashank N.D. Photo: Jagadeesh NV/Mint
Practo plans to enter the health insurance segment through partnerships with existing businesses, said its co-founder Shashank N.D. Photo: Jagadeesh NV/Mint

Bengaluru: Digital healthcare start-up Practo Technologies Pvt. Ltd has raised $55 million in a Series D funding led by China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd.

Existing investors Sequoia Capital, Matrix Partners, Google Capital, Sofina and Altimeter Capital also participated in the round.

They were joined by new investors RSI Fund, owned by Japan’s Recruit Holdings Ltd, New York-based Thrive Capital and Russian venture capital firm ru-Net, co-founder and chief executive Shashank N.D. said.

According to two people aware of the development, Practo was valued at $600-650 million, a significant increase from its last valuation of $500 million in August 2015, when Practo raised $90 million from a clutch of investors.

Practo did not comment on the valuation.

Practo has raised $179 million since its inception in 2008, making it by far the most well-funded home- grown healthcare start-up. As per Tracxn, a start-up tracker, the doctor discovery and appointment booking segment has seen the emergence of at least 211 start-ups since 2014. As much as $130 million was poured into this segment in the last three years—excluding Practo’s latest fund raising—with Practo accounting for almost all of it.

“The thing that has worked in their favour is that they are a horizontal digital healthcare start-up. Their story is around how big healthcare is in India and they have a lot of products and services in their portfolio. Typically if you have good consumer traction on the healthcare side, it will be very easy to monetize...Secondly, Practo is growing very quickly across geographies. That is another big selling point,” said Abhishek Goyal, co-founder of Tracxn.

Flush with funds, Practo, which has expanded to the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brazil, will now enter the health insurance segment through partnerships with existing service providers.

“Practo is a neutral stakeholder and wants to focus on that. We will partner with all existing health insurance providers. We will stay an aggregator and make sure that their work can be amplified,” said Shashank.

Practo was launched as a provider of practice management software for doctors, called Practo Ray. It launched a consumer-facing doctor discovery and appointment booking platform in 2013.

Practo has been an active acquirer in the last 18 months, especially to tap into the enterprise segment. In September 2015, Practo announced back-to-back acquisitions of Insta Health Solutions, a hospital information management service provider, and Qikwell Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which had expertise in appointment scheduling at hospitals.

In December, Practo acquired Enlightiks Business Solutions Pvt. Ltd, a healthcare analytics solutions firm. This apart, it bought FitHo, a fitness management platform and product outsourcing firm Genii, in 2015.

Practo earns revenue by selling a practice management and appointment scheduling software for doctors and clinics, as well as a hospital information management solution, all on a software-as-a-service model, apart from an advertisement service for hospitals and clinics, called Practo Reach.

On the consumer front, Practo has added categories such as clinics, diagnostics, online doctor consultation and medicine. As per Shashank, Practo booked about 45 million appointments in 2016 and five million patient records were shared on its app last year.

Practo currently employs about 1,500 professionals and claims to aggregate 200,000 healthcare professionals, 10,000 hospitals, 8,000 diagnostic centres and 4,000 wellness and fitness centres in India, Brazil, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.

As per documents available with the Registrar of Companies, Practo clocked revenue of Rs165.14 crore for the year ended 31 March, 2016, up from Rs29.73 crore a year ago. Its losses climbed to Rs64.61 crore from Rs12.85 crore a year earlier.

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