Singapore-based HealthXCapital is launching a $25-million early stage healthcare fund targeting Southeast Asia and India in what it claims is a first for the region.
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 did not share when it expects to close the fund.
“We’re seeing a huge volume of good deals right now. It’s been building for the last decade but it is reaching a tipping point of sorts now because of the global connectivity. There is a faster emergence of startups out here in healthcare which has been leading towards a critical mass. I think this is the right time to cultivate that and harness that opportunity to give a few of those startups a chance to become really impactful and successful commercially,” said HealthXCapital partner Seemant Jauhari.
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.
Jauhari said that the healthcare sector today is ripe for disruption.
“We need to break the mindset of healthcare coming only from a brick-and-mortar hospital or clinic. Today we can use technology to take healthcare closer to people. For instance, point-of-care diagnostics or monitoring patients in critical condition. These can be served through consultations from doctors who may be sitting thousands of kilometres away. All this can be done at a fraction of the cost,” he added.
Meanwhile, healthcare expenditure in the region is lagging significantly.
Healthcare expenditure in Southeast Asia and India currently stands at 4.7 per cent of GDP, compared to 9.9 per cent in Europe and 17.9 per cent in the US. The region also faces challenges due to underdeveloped infrastructure, lack of affordable treatment and proactive healthcare as well as opaque data management.
Suneeta Reddy, Managing Director of the Apollo Hospitals Group, said: “Meeting Asia’s under-served healthcare needs requires innovative, and collaborative approaches, transcending traditional models. The region has experienced one of the world’s fastest growth stories but healthcare has not kept pace.”
According to Frost & Sullivan, the Asia Pacific healthcare industry is worth $517 billion and is one of the fastest growing in the world.