Practo Technologies Pvt. Ltd, India’s largest doctor discovery platform, has acquired smaller rival Qikwell Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which has expertise in appointment scheduling at hospitals, for an undisclosed amount in a cash-and-stock deal. This is a move to penetrate deeper into the enterprise segment, especially hospitals, clinics and diagnostic centres, after extending its stranglehold over individual doctors.

Mint had reported on 4 August that Practo was in talks to acquire Qikwell.

The companies will integrate their platforms in the coming weeks, following which Qikwell may cease to exist as an independent entity, but a clear plan is yet to be chalked out, said Shashank N.D., co-founder and chief executive at Practo.

Two weeks ago, Practo had acquired Insta Health Solutions, a hospital information management solution provider, for $12 million to build on its enterprise capabilities. While the Insta Health acquisition gives Practo another monetizable product, which would help it generate revenues, the acquisition of Qikwell will help Practo bring a strong consumer-facing offering around hospitals to the table.

The company at present generates revenue from Practo Ray, a doctor-facing practice management software—sold as a subscription-based, software-as-a-service product—and Practo Reach, a sponsored listing service for hospitals and clinics. Listing on Practo is free for doctors and the company does not charge consumers for searches.

“With this acquisition, Practo now becomes the world’s leading appointment management platform. We will continue with our aggressive expansion over the coming months," said Shashank.

This is the fourth acquisition made by Practo in the last five months. Before Insta Health, it had acquired product outsourcing firm Genii in July to strengthen its technology to roll out new products for enterprises. Another acquisition, FitHo, was aimed at entering into the preventive healthcare segment by the end of the year.

Practo claims to facilitate 10 million searches a month. There are more than 200,000 doctors, 5,000 diagnostic centres and 10,000 hospitals listed on its platform.

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 firm claims to have more than 6,000 doctors and 250 hospitals across 19 cities listed on its platform, including Manipal Hospitals, Cloudnine and Narayana Hrudayalaya.

Practo recently raised $90 million from Tencent, Belgian venture capital firm Sofina, Sequoia Capital Global Equities, Google Capital, Altimeter Capital, Yuri Milner, founder of Russian venture capital firm DST Global, and existing investors Sequoia India and Matrix Partners. The firm has raised $125 million since its launch in 2008. The $90 million round is the biggest for a domestic healthcare start-up.

Other prominent firms in the doctor discovery and practice management segment in India are Lybrate, Ziffi and HelpingDoc. While there are about 140 start-ups in this segment, only Practo and Lybrate have raised more than $10 million in a single funding round, according to Tracxn, a start-up tracker.

Practo claims it has a market share of more than 90% in India. The company is also testing international waters, having branched out to the Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore. Practo plans to expand to 10 countries including Brazil, Turkey, Mexico, Indonesia and Malaysia by the end of the fiscal year.

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