The funds will be used to ramp up hiring across functions
The startup kicked off its services in December last year by partnering with gynecologists in Gurugram
About 70% of gynecologists in Gurugram are using its platform to offer holistic care to their patients
Gurugram based-healthtech startup Curelink has raised $3.5 Mn in seed funding led by Elevation Capital and Venture Highway.
The round also saw participation from Digital Sparrow Capital and angels such as Vijay Shekhar Sharma (Paytm), Ankush Sachdeva and Farid Ahsan (Sharechat), Gaurav Agarwal, Prashant Tandon (Tata 1mg), Rajat K Dhawan (McKinsey), Rohit MA (Cloudnine), Ritesh Malik (Innov8) and Harsh Mahajan (Mahajan Imaging), among others.
The funds will be used for geographical expansion and diversification of services across different medical specialisations such as dermatology, pediatrics and psychiatry.
Founded by IIT-Roorkee graduates Aman Singla and Divyansh Jain in 2021, the startup said it connects doctors to patients through WhatsApp.
According to Curelink, it intends to reinvent chronic care management for people in Tier 2 cities and beyond.
As per the startup, about 90% of out-of-clinic interactions in the healthcare industry happen on WhatsApp. Through virtual care teams, the healthtech startup helps doctors provide condition-specific advice on diet plans, exercise regimens and more detailed handling of patient queries for thyroid issues, pregnancy, diabetes etc.
“Today, 200 Mn people have diseases such as hypertension, PCOS and diabetes. Many of these people, especially older ones, do not spend much time on the internet and are unlikely to download a separate app to manage their health issues. They are however comfortable using WhatsApp to communicate with familiar medical professionals,” said Curelink’s founder Aman Singla.
Curelink converts vague advice, such as ‘change your diet’ to actionable advice thereby enabling time-strapped doctors to give personalised, accurate and in-depth care to such patients, Singla said.
“The tragedy of the Indian chronic care ecosystem is the lack of actionable advice that patients can refer to for managing diseases. We enable doctors to provide support to patients in an effortless manner yet exhaustive,” said Divyansh Jain, founder of Curelink.
Curelink is currently active in Gurugram and Bhopal and plans to expand in the Delhi NCR region, and experiment in cities like Lucknow and Jaipur by the end of 2022.
It said, its team has grown from a 4-members in September 2021 to 40-members team today. Curelink started with onboarding three active caregivers catering to just 500 patients and currently has about 300 caregivers catering to more than 10,000 patients. The number of messages on its platform has seen a m-o-m growth of about 150%, as it said.
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“Doctors are the focal point of healthcare delivery in India, and Curelink’s model of being a trusted aide to doctors resonated immediately with us. The team is hyper-focused on their stakeholders, which is amply evident in design choices they have made, being WhatsApp-first for patients, enabling private and contextual consultations for doctors, and being squarely focused on outcomes,” said Vasudha Wadhera, VP, Elevation Capital.
Elevation Capital has invested in more than 150 companies across consumer internet, SaaS, fintech, D2C, edtech, healthtech and web3/crypto, and has offices in Bengaluru, Gurugram and Salt Lake City.
The Rise Of Healthtech Startups
The healthtech sector received a big push in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic last year. The startups in this sector received $2.2 Bn in funding across 131 deals, Inc42 data shows. The healthtech space minted four unicorns in 2021, announcing the sector’s coming of age.
Moreover, the healthtech market in India is estimated to grow at 27% CAGR to $21.3 Bn by 2025 and is going to enjoy a share of over 3% of the global market.
According to Inc42 analysis, since 2014, the healthtech sector has attracted a total of $4.7 Bn. A closer look at healthtech startup funding trends since 2014, however, points to an uneven pattern. Though funding saw a rise in 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019, it slipped in 2016 and surprisingly in 2020.
In the pandemic year of 2020, healthtech startup funding declined to $456 Mn from $546 Mn in 2019.
4 Unicorns Minted Last Year In Healthtech Space
Four startups – Innovaccer, Pharmeasy, Curefit and Pristyn Care – became unicorns last year. Late-stage funding rose 3.4x in 2021. As many as 17 had late-stage funding, which was a sharp rise from five deals as compared to previous year
Innovaccer earned the distinction of first healthtech unicorn, but it took a relatively longer time frame of seven years for the startup to turn into a unicorn with a valuation of $1.9 Bn. While it took Pharmeasy ($1.5 Bn) six years, Pristyn Care surpassed the $1 Bn valuation mark ($1.3 Bn) in just three years. Curefit also took five years ($1.5 Bn).
Sequoia, Tiger Global and B Capital Group were the prominent investors in the healthtech sector in 2021.
Healthtech Funding So Far
Healthtech startups such as Proactive For Her, Heaps Health, Goqii, among others have secured funding this year.
Goqii has raised $50 Mn in its Series-C funding round led by Sumeru Ventures in February this year. It is a mix of equity including preference share and debt investments.
Last month, women’s outpatient healthcare Proactive For Her, secured $5.5 Mn in Series A funding led by Vertex Ventures South East Asia and India with participation from existing investor Nexus Venture Partners.
In January this year, Japanese home medical support company, Human Life Management (HLM) acquired Indian home healthcare startup, Care24, for an undisclosed amount.
Mumbai-based AI-driven healthcare startup Heaps Health also raised $7.45 Mn in its Series A round of funding in January 2022.