Exclusive: Malaysia’s BookDoc courting HK, Indonesia, Thai healthcare groups for pre-Series A

BookDoc's webpage.

Malaysia-based healthcare app, BookDoc is gunning to seal a pre-Series A round of funding in around four months, courting strategic investors from the healthcare industry in Hong Kong, Indonesia and Thailand.

Founder Chevy Beh told DEALSTREETASIA that the startup, which two weeks ago sealed a US dollar seven-digit seed round led by Brunei Royal Family’s Prince Abdul Qawi, is aiming at closing its pre-Series A investment in May or June.

The funding will targeted at penetrating the markets the investors are based in.

Also Read: Malaysia: Brunei Royal Family makes first tech startup investment in BookDoc

“We are in talks with a few partner healthcare providers and a person from the technology sector. These are (healthcare) suppliers, not just investors. They are well-known names in their respective markets,” he said, noting that with partner suppliers getting their skin in the game, BookDoc and its partners can mutually accelerate growth.

Set up just half a year ago, BookDoc has already been approached by certain Singaporean party for a buyout, although he is not keen on the offer at this point.

“We already have a suitor in this short time, who is attracted to our speed of execution. But I’m more for the long term, ” he said.

Beh commented that BookDoc’s approach to growth was more unorthadox, as it looks for funding and strategic support before rolling out its complete platform.

“I’m looking to grow and taking BookDoc first to strategic investors to scale regionally at a quicker pace, which is unconventional. Typically, startups build their technology and then go the venture capitalist route for funding or business development. Coming from a healthcare background, I understand the needs of industry, hence we focused on business development before building the technology,” he said.

Beh declined to share more about BookDoc’s plans for its platform. At the moment, it is primarily a medical appointment booking app.

Notable healthcare groups in Indonesia include conglomerate Lippo Group which operates Siloam Hospitals, the largest hospital operator in the archipelago, and PT Mitra Keluarga Karyasehat which went for an initial public offering in March 2015.

Lippo Group is founded by financial magnate Mochtar Riady, while Mitra Keluarga is owned by PT Kalbe Farma.

In Thailand, Bangkok Dusit Medical Services, which runs Bangkok Hospitals, is Thailand’s largest private healthcare group. The group is majority owned by founder Prasert Prasarttong-osoth.

Bangkok Dusit Medical Services is also a major shareholder in Stock Exchange of Thailand-listed Bumrungrad International Hospital.

Noteworthy is also Thonburi Hospital Group, which is launching an initial public offering this year. The healthcare company is owned by low-profile billionaire, Dr Boon Vanasin.

In the meantime, BookDoc is scouting out partnerships within Malaysia to increase its user base.

“We are talking to several parties, and with these deals, we could bump up our customer base into the million,” Beh commented.

The healthcare platform was last reported, in November 2015, to have a customer base of 20,000 through its corporate clients. The company has since signed several more partnerships with various medical centres in the region, and latest numbers have not been revealed.

Also Read:

Exclusive: Malaysia’s health-tech platform BookDoc on road to raise seed cap, wants to be more than booking app

Malaysia: BookDoc partners GrabTaxi to enable users to reach doctors easily

Malaysia: BookDoc signs MoU with Sime Darby’s flagship medical centre

Malaysia: Doctor discovery app BookDoc gets healthcare veterans to join its advisory group

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.