Exclusive: Health-tech startup Practo eyes more acquisitions, aims at profits in 2017

Shashank ND- Founder and CEO- Practo

With $124 million funding in hand and four acquisitions under its belt last year itself, Bangalore-based healthtech Practo Technologies Pvt. Ltd is still on the prowl for more .

“We are strong believers in acquisitions. It has given us a fast way to scale and the ability to further accelerate our roadmap. Today, we are on the lookout to acquire or invest in more futuristic technologies such as AI, machine learning, genome technology and others,” Practo Founder and Chief Executive Officer Shashank ND told DEALSTREETASIA in an interview.

“We are always open for acquiring great technology and/or talent. We think more of our acquisitions will be India focused since we have seen anything internationally that is of interest to us yet but if the right opportunity presents itself, of course, we will go for it,” he added.

In September last year, Practo made its fourth acquisition in five months by acquiring smaller rival Qikwell for an undisclosed amount. In the same month it had acquired hospital information management solution provider Insta Health Solutions for $12 million. Prior to that Practo acquired health and fitness solutions firm Fitho Wellness Services Pvt. Ltd in April and Mumbai-based product outsourcing firm Genii in July.

Its buyout of Qikwell made Practo the world’s largest appointment booking platform with nearly 40 million appointments every year.

Founded in 2008, Practo started off as a doctor-listing platform and has evolved to an end-to-end health tech solutions provider. Its revenue comes 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. It recently introduced doctor consultation and medicine delivery, started providing information, and even entered the beauty and wellness segment.

The end-to-end health tech services are what differentiates Practo from the other rivals in the the countries it is present in such as BookDoc, which is also a healthcare service booking platform, has footprints in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Thailand. Later this year, it plans to enter the Phillippines and Jakarta markets.

“Beyond the clinics and doctors, our acquisitions last year have gotten us extremely well positioned for the enterprise side also. We already have our OPD SaaS software into many of the major hospitals so we are improving healthcare experience there for patients and doctors both. With our complete HIMS solution, now there are many hospitals across 15 countries where the entire hospital runs on Practo,” said Shashank.

Practo claims to connect over 60 million patients to over 200,000 doctors, 10,000 hospitals, 8000 diagnostic labs and 4,000 wellness/fitness centres.

The company has raised about $125 million since its launch in 2008, the last being a $90-million round in August from China’s Tencent, Belgian venture capital firm Sofina, Sequoia Capital Global Equities, Google Capital, Altimeter Capital and Yuri Milner, founder of Russian venture capital firm DST Global.

On whether the company was looking to raise another round of funding, Shashank said “We believe that we are well capitalized and have strong revenue streams at the moment.”

Expansion and Profitability

After gaining foothold in the Asian market with its complete hyperloop (consumer + software) presence in five markets including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and India, earlier this year Practo forayed into the Latin American market by expanding into Brazil. In the remaining ten countries such as Sri Lanka, Kenya, Bahrain, UAE, Oman, Nigeria, among others, Practo offers its enterprise software and does not offer services to the consumer directly.

We have been expanding at very rapid pace.  We are currently we are present in 50+ cities and 15 countries around the world including Singapore, Indonesia Philippines and Brazil. We plan to expand this reach further by adding more areas within the countries we are already in,” said Shashank.

“For the rest of the year we will continue to focus on expanding our coverage in each of our markets. In India for example we will go from 35 to 100 cities,” he added.

Last year, Practo had reported revenues of $4.5 million for the financial year ended March 31, 2015, amounting to a 10 fold increase from $343,000 a year ago. It’s losses however increased by 30 per cent in the same year, from $1.5 million to $1.8 million.

“Practo follows an asset light strategy and with our unique full stack solution, we have a strong business model with pretty healthy margins. Some aspects of our business are already profitable and we are on track to hit full profitability by next year,” said Shashank.

The company also has plans for a public listing, however, Shashank says they will be working towards it over the next 3-5 years.

Also Read:

India: Practo’s losses widen 30% in FY15 as it guns for M&As, new markets & verticals

India: Healthcare platform Practo acquires smaller rival Qikwell

India: Practo moves beyond doctor discovery, offers medicine delivery, consultation

 

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).   

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  • 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. 
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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.