Years before pursuing his studies at IIT Bombay, Arpit Kothari, had started his entrepreneurship journey at not-for-profit organization, Samadhan, dedicated at providing healthcare to masses and Walnut India, startup in education space. At Samadhan, he partnered with diagnostic centers to make test services available to patients at affordable prices.
In a span of four years, from handling one patient a day during its initial days, the not-for-profit grew to over 400 patients a day and expanded to 15 centers in three cities. The not-for-profit also experimented with tele-services and consultation services, but could not scale it.
However, the existing variance between demand for quality labs across the cities as against the limited availability of certified labs inspired him to build HolaMed Healthcare Technologies (Medd). Arpit Kothari teamed up with fellow batch mates Anurag Mundhada and Akash Deep Singhal to pilot app at his hometown- Indore.
How It Works
“We are just a platform for booking and managing the diagnostic tests, but we work with best labs to offer 20%-70% of the cost and still get them tested at best quality labs,” shared Arpit Kothari.
Customers can login from their Medd app, search for the test labs and can fix an appointment. They can also request for a test at home. Once the test is done, the report will be send to the given phone number, following which the physical copy of the report is delivered to the address or can be collected from the lab.
Medd promises minimum standard quality for the labs. But like they say, quality is subjective, and this why Medd emphasizes on tying up with NABL certified and accredited labs that abide by the government set guidelines of operation and quality control. However, out of 400-500 labs operating in Mumbai, there are only 30 NABL labs.
And similar is the case with pricing. Since different labs follow their trademarked methodology or technology, they price the service based on the same. This brings variance in same service offered by two different labs.
Medd is a platform that connects the patients with the labs. On one hand, it provides reasonable services to patients and on the other side, it helps the private labs optimize their capacity and increase the utilization. And for Medd, the revenue would be based on commission made over every patient that it brings to the lab. Right now, they aren’t charging for the patients, but as they build up a critical user base, they might start charging the labs with as low as Rs.10 per customer.
Since its launch in Indore, in last two months, Medd has managed to get over 1,000 downloads. It expects that app downloads will multiply as it increases the presence in other cities. Starting with an open public beta version, the app released the final version, a few weeks back with added features like booking appointment, tracking previous history and patient helpline with WhatsApp connect services.
Medd is planning to launch in Mumbai in a week’s time and has completed the groundwork. The startup has partnered with major labs including Thyrocare, which has centers across the city. Following this model, the startup expects to build a network of over 20 lab chains, which will give it presence in only a handful of cities, largely metros. In coming years, it aims to build its presence in at least 20 cities both organically and inorganically i.e. in partnership with labs.
A Peek At Industry And Market Size
According to IBEF report, the overall Indian healthcare market is poised at $100 Bn. It is expected to touch $ 280 Bn by 2020, growing at CAGR of 22.9 %. This includes hospitals, nursing homes, diagnostics centers and pharmaceuticals.
A CII-KPMG report stated that diagnostics sector contributed $2.5Bn in 2012, and the diagnostic and pathological laboratory (path lab) test services market accounted for 52.1 % of the share.
After ecommerce marketplace, radio-taxi, food-tech, healthcare is an emerging segment, which is seeing a lot of traction among consumers and investors. There are examples of Healthkart, Portea and Practo that have grown manifold in last one year attracting million of investment.
Practo is said to be valued at $150 Mn given the funding it raised from Tencent, Matrix Partner, Sequoia Sofina, Google Capital, Altimeter Capital and Global Equities. Home healthcare service provider, led by Meena Ganesh, Portea Medical, raised fresh round of funding $37.5 Mn in a Series B round led by Accel Partners and prior to this it had received from Qualcomm Ventures and Ventureast.
In the press note, commenting on the investment, Karthee Madasamy, vice president at Qualcomm Ventures India said, “India’s already strained healthcare infrastructure requires transformational strategies. Wireless technologies are revolutionizing healthcare, and with our investment in Portea, we aim to create a technology based platform to address India’s healthcare challenges.’’
Challenges And Competitive Landscape
While many commodity based ecommerce sites, from selling niche products to mainstream, have mushroomed in last few years, healthcare is yet another growing space. A few startups that are directly competing with Medd are Pathdoor, eKincare and HealthIndya.
Pathdoor is the closest competition that provides door-to-door pathology services with discounts for patients. ekincare and HealthIndya are into patient health management, wherein they help patients store their lab test data in one place and connect with the doctors for consultation.
Apart from the funded biggies, there are fairly newer entrants like Zoctr, Lybrate, Ziffi, Qikwell and more that have recently raised funding. Zoctr recently raised around $1 Mn from Sandeep Parwal, Krishan Gupta and others, while Lybrate raised around $10.2 Mn from Tiger Global Management, Ratan Tata and Nexus Venture Partners.
This is indeed a good time for Medd to be in the market, but it is just starting to get more crowded with many more startups entering. Medd raised seed funding and actively working on raising first round of funding to support the anticipated growth. Unfortunately, there would be very few areas of differentiation and the game will move from innovation to customer acquisition and throwing in more offers.