India: Online doctor discovery platform Practo acquires Insta Health for $12m

Practo founder and CEO Shashank ND. Photo sourced from Practo's facebook page.

India’s largest online doctor discovery company Practo Technologies Pvt. Ltd has acquired hospital information management solution provider Insta Health Solutions for $12 million, its third acquisition after fitness solutions firm FitHo and product outsourcing firm Genii in the past six months.

The acquisition opens up an additional revenue stream for Practo and helps the company expand its presence among hospitals. The company at present generates revenue 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. Listing on Practo is free for doctors, while the company does not charge consumers for searches.

With Insta Health Solutions on board, Practo now gets access to more than 500 hospitals across 15 countries, including in Southeast Asia, West Asia and Africa, which use the company’s information management software. This adds on to Practo’s repertoire of software products for medical establishments, which ensures a steady revenue flow.

Insta Health Solutions will continue to operate as a separate entity, Practo said in a statement.

“Ray as a product is targeted towards individual practitioners while Insta targets hospitals and chains of clinics, which are larger in nature. Both the products have different focus and target audience,” said Shashank N.D., co-founder and chief executive at Practo. “Before Insta, we had Reach, which was targeted at hospitals. With this acquisition, we will also have influence over the software that the hospitals use.”

Practo claims to facilitate 10 million searches every month. There are more than 200,000 doctors, 5,000 diagnostic centres and 10,000 hospitals listed on its platform.

Insta Health Solutions was founded seven years ago by Ramesh Emani, an information technology veteran who had worked with Wipro Ltd in various capacities, including as chief technology officer and president of telecom and product engineering solutions.

The firm’s products enable clients to automate clinical, operational and financial processes, including scheduling, registration, patient management, billing, electronic medical records management, bed and pharmacy inventory management among others.

The acquisition comes amid Practo’s increasing focus on enterprises such as hospitals, clinics and diagnostics centres. The firm’s acquisition of Genii was aimed at strengthening its technology to roll out new products for enterprises, while FitHo was aimed at making an entry into the preventive healthcare segment by the end of the year.

Though Practo has the first-mover advantage in India, there are at least 140 start-ups in the doctor discovery, appointment booking and practice management service segment, according to Tracxn, a start-up tracker. Some of the businesses in this segment are Lybrate, Ziffi, Qikwell and HelpingDoc.

To maintain its market dominance, Practo is making acquisitions and launching several products in new businesses. It is also fast expanding in international markets and plans to expand to 10 countries, including Brazil, Turkey, Mexico and Malaysia, by the end of the fiscal year, from four currently.

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.

This article was first published on Livemint.com

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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.