Exclusive: Artiman Ventures invests $4m in MedECube Healthcare

Photo: Reuters/Amit Dave

Artiman Ventures, a Palo Alto, California-based venture capital firm, has invested about $4 million in a series A round in MedECube Healthcare India Pvt Ltd.

Artiman, the sole investor in the Gurgaon-based startup, has set aside a similar amount for future rounds, said managing partner Ajit Singh in a chat  with DEALSTREETASIA.

MedECube is an asset-less firm in the healthcare sector that helps patients get access to doctors in major hospitals and clinics, including emergency care. It was founded by Dilpreet Brar, who previously held management roles in major hospital chains such as Max Healthcare and Fortis. “We provide an end-to-end service, from the day a person learns that they need medical care, to helping them understand what care they need, where, and by whom,” said Brar in an interview.

For Singh, this investment is about taking a bet on the abilities and experience of the founder. “We believe in Dilpreet, and I’ve known her for close to a decade. A good idea can turn out to be bad over time, but a good entrepreneur knows which turns to make to continuously re-invent and succeed. MedECube’s work of curation and aggregation of healthcare assets and making it a hassle-free experience is unchartered territory,” said Singh, who also serves as a consulting professor in the School of Medicine, Stanford University, and serves on the board of directors at Delhi-based Max Healthcare.

The firm will focus on both domestic and international clients, in the enterprise space — by tying up with major companies — and  has plans for individuals. The annual plan for companies would cost between Rs 15 lakh and Rs 20 lakh, while for individuals, it would be about Rs 5,000 for a year, Brar said. Consultation and hospital expenses will need to paid directly to the healthcare facility. MedECube will also assit patients post-hospitalization to help them take medications and tests on time.

Artiman is currently investing from its fourth fund, worth about $300 million that closed last year. It has $1.2 billion under management, and typically enters at the Series A round with an average ticket size of $4 million to $5 million. Over time, it invests up to $30 million, including follow-up rounds. It has also done bigger tranches – last year it put in $145 million in display solutions company Prysm‘s series C round.

It had made about 10 investments from Fund III, at an average of $25 million in each portfolio company. It currently has 32 investments, out of which 7 are in India. Eight of its investments are in the diagnostics and services space.

The Indian government spends less than 1 per cent of its GDP on public healthcare, which is grossly inadequate for a population of over a billion. Private healthcare chains have grown rapidly in the last decade to fill the void. The estimated healthcare expenditure in India in 2013 was $96.3 billion. With a growth rate of about 12 per cent, this number is expected to cross $195 billion in the next two years.

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