Singapore-based neonatal-clinical solutions startup Child Health Imprints (CHIL) has raised $2.4 million in its pre-Series A funding round led by healthcare investor HealthXCapital, according to an announcement.
CHIL said the fresh capital raised in the funding round, which was also backed by Enterprise SG and high net worth individuals, will go towards expanding its integrated neonatal ICU (NICU) care services in Asia Pacific as well as in securing international regulatory approvals.
The healthcare startup said it develops proprietary NICU solutions to provide real-time data and analytics to clinicians so they can easily monitor and treat newborn babies who are at risk.
CHIL’s focus on neonatal care industry seems timely as the World Health Organisation (WHO), in a 2018 report, said nearly 15 million infants are born preterm annually, of which close to 1 million die due to preterm birth-related complications.
More than 60 per cent of preterm births take place in Asia and Africa, according to the WHO report cited by CHIL. Prematurity, infections, delay in treatment, skilled manpower shortage, and human-based errors are the major causes of neonatal deaths.
CHIL founders, Harpreet Singh and Ravneet Kaur, faced similar challenges when their twins were born preterm and one of them passed away within a week of birth due to necrotizing enterocolitis, a devastating disease that affects mostly the intestine of premature infants.
“Our aim is to improve neonatal safety across countries with high neonatal mortality rate,” Singh said.
CHIL is presently running in 25 NICUs across top tier hospitals in India including Apollo Hospitals and Sir Gangaram Hospital (New Delhi). It plans to further expand in India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Gulf Cooperation Council and the ASEAN region.
HealthXCapital’s investment in CHIL comes a year after it announced the launched of a $25-million early-stage healthcare fund targeting Southeast Asia and India.
The fund is backed by Apollo Hospitals, Jungle Ventures, Eight Roads, a global proprietary investment firm backed by Fidelity International, and other private investors.
HealthXCapital will target early-stage investments in digital health, diagnostics, devices, and artificial intelligence, focusing on companies with origins and impact on Southeast Asia and India.
The fund aims to invest in 10 to 12 companies, with ticket sizes ranging from $500,000 to $3 million. The fund tenure is 5-7 years.
HealthXCapital has already backed a few companies. These include Singapore-based Homage, a tech platform for on-demand healthcare services, US-based JanaCare, a smartphone-based care diagnostics platform, and India-based iNICU, an integrated analytics-based solution for improving outcomes in neo-natal ICUs.