Home >Companies >Practo in talks to buy smaller rival Qikwell


Practo in talks to buy smaller rival Qikwell

Deal not been finalized; Qikwell also in parallel talks to raise new round of funding

Doctor discovery platform Practo Technologies Pvt. Ltd has held talks to buy smaller rival Qikwell Technologies Pvt. Ltd as it closes in on a new round of funding from a group of investors, including Chinese investment firm Tencent Holdings Ltd, three people familiar with the matter said.

A deal hasn’t been finalized and Qikwell is also in parallel talks to raise a new round of funding, the three people said on condition of anonymity.

Practo wants to buy Qikwell partly because the latter is building a strong foothold in generating revenue from hospitals, they said.

Practo didn’t respond to an email seeking comment. Qikwell co-founder Krishna Prasad C. denied the company was in merger talks with Practo.

Founded in 2011 by Krishna Prasad C. and Raghavendra Prasad T.S., Qikwell is backed by SAIF Partners with an investment of 18.3 crore. The Bengaluru-based technology start-up is a doctor-discovery platform that offers real-time appointment bookings.

The company currently has over 3,500 doctors listed on its platform. It has an employee strength of 90 people and has branches in Chennai, Hyderabad and Delhi. It plans to expand to Mumbai, Pune and Kolkata in the coming months.

If a merger is finalized, it will be Practo’s third acquisition in six months. In April, it acquired health and fitness solutions firm Fitho Wellness Services Pvt. Ltd, which runs the FitHo mobile app. It also bought Mumbai-based product outsourcing firm Genii to strengthen its technology infrastructure last month.

Practo is the leader in the booming market for online healthcare services. The company, which raised over $30 million from Sequoia Capital India Advisors and Matrix Partners in February, is in advanced discussions to receive another large round of funding from Tencent and other investors, the three people cited above said.

Singapore-based Practo is looking to expand its international presence and introduce preventive healthcare services by the end of the year. The company will branch out to 10 countries, including Brazil, Turkey, Mexico, Indonesia and Malaysia, by the end of the financial year, Mint reported on 23 July.

Some of Practo’s key competitors include online healthcare portal HealthKart, which has recently entered the doctor discovery space via its product 1mg, run by Bright Lifecare Pvt. Ltd.

Other start-ups operating in this space that have received venture capital money include Delhi-based HelpingDoc Pvt. Ltd, Mumbai-based Angels Health Pvt. Ltd (MediAngels.com) and DocSuggest Healthcare Services Pvt. Ltd (Ziffi.com).

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