Bengaluru-based doctor consultation app mfine has raised INR 31 Cr ($4.49 Mn) as venture debt funding. The investment has come in from Mumbai-based venture debt provider Alteria Capital.
With the latest funding, mfine aims to expand to Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata in the next six months.
The company had recently raised $17.2 Mn in a Series B funding round from SBI Investment, a venture capital unit of Japan’s financial services company SBI Group along with a Singapore-based fund called SBI Ven Capital and BEENEXT. With this, the total funding raised by mfine is $27.39 Mn.
mfine was founded by former Myntra executives Prasad Kompalli and Ashutosh Lawania in December 2017. They were later joined by Ajit Narayanan and Arjun Choudhary. The company is an AI-driven, on-demand healthcare service that provides its users access to virtual consultations and connected care programmes through hospitals.
The AI engine has the ability to diagnose and triage over 1,200 common diseases, read hundreds of health parameters in the diagnostic reports thus saving significant time for the doctors.
Mfine Grows At 30% Month-On-Month
mfine partners with leading and trusted hospitals instead of aggregating individual doctors. mfine users can consult doctors from their preferred hospitals via chat or video to get prescriptions and/or routine care. It has a network of 160 such hospitals across five cities.
Prasad Kompalli, CEO and cofounder, mfine said, “The recently closed series B and Alteria’s current investment are an endorsement of our differentiation and potential to create a large scale health-tech business.”
The company claims that in June 2019, over 25K transactions were completed on mfine with the customer base growing 30% M-o-M.
In the next 12 months, mfine aims to bring together India’s top 250 hospitals, from 10 cities with more than 2500 doctors onto its virtual hospital platform. It is now looking to triple its investments in AI, mobile engineering and hardware integration.
Vinod Murali, managing partner, Alteria Capital, said, “We double down on opportunities where companies are performing visibly well and provide frictionless access to capital. We are very excited to have the opportunity to contribute further to the mfine journey in a substantive manner as they change the landscape of healthcare technology in India.”
According to the new research report “Indian Diagnostic Services Market Outlook 2020”, the diagnostic services market is expected to continue growing at 27.5% for next five years. With the rise in health consciousness in the society and the rising burden of chronic diseases, this market will swell to approximately INR 860 Bn in revenues market by 2020.
Some of the players leveraging the market potential include NetMeds, Visit, CureSkin, MedPlus etc.
Why Debt Financing Fits The Bill For Startups?
As the investor attention towards Indian startups pick up pace, the strong equity funding environment has also created a market for venture debt. The venture debt market has seen an impressive growth, as more and more startups heading towards the debt funding as an alternate source of capital.
In simple terms, venture debt is seen as a smart way for startups to raise some additional capital to drive growth while optimising their capital structure and dilution for founders and early-stage investors.
It has been reported that startups will raise between INR 1,500-1,800 Cr of venture debt in 2019, which will be a healthy 25-30% growth over 2018. In an earlier conversation with Inc42 – Vinod Murali of Alteria Capital has noticed a strong demand for venture debt, much better awareness about the product, a lot more chatter and curiosity around how can this fit into the capital strategies of companies.
The investors leading the growing venture debt market include Temasek-backed Innoven Capital, Alteria Capital, Trifecta Capital, and IntelleGrow among others.
The startups which have gone the route of venture debt include Dunzo, Toppr, Faasos, DeHaat, OYO, Swiggy, BigBasket, Raw Pressery and BYJU’s.