Amid a year of pandemic restrictions, India’s telemedicine startup MFine has raised $16 million in fresh funding in a bridge round, led by Singapore-based investor Heritas Capital and family office Y’S Investment.
Existing investors who also participated in the fundraising exercise include SBI Investment, SBI Ven Capital BEENEXT, and Alteria Capital, the company said in a statement. Of the total corpus raised, $14 million was as equity and the remaining $2 million as debt.
Founded in 2017, MFine last raised $17.2 million in its Series B round in April 2019. The company says it will initiate a Series C fundraising “in the coming months”.
The pandemic has driven the adoption of telemedicine across various markets. Investors have also piled into the category with $4.3 billion in global VC funding in 2020, nearly 2.5 times higher than in the year before, according to Mercom Capital.
MFine is an artificial intelligence-enabled on-demand healthcare platform that provides users with virtual consultations.
As cofounder Prasad Kompalli explains in an email to DealStreetAsia, triage is done through AI to eliminate emergency cases. The AI would also collect relevant information to prepare the case sheet, including differential diagnoses and treatment options. The platform is also able to remind users with chronic conditions about medication, tests, and follow-ups.
MFine claims to be connected to over 4,000 doctors across 35 specialities. According to the company, since COVID-19 hit, more than one million users have used its platform to consult with doctors remotely. The company says there are more than two million users of its platform today.
During 2020, it launched new services including AI-based self-assessment of various health conditions, and expanded its coverage beyond key cities to more than 1,000 towns in India.
A part of the corpus will help MFine develop its artificial intelligence, mobile engineering, and device integration capabilities, while the rest will be used to expand its hospital network across India, and ramp up its recently-launched services in delivering medicines, preventive health screening, and diagnostic tests.
MFine’s platform has the potential to grow beyond India, says SBI Investment’s chairman Yoshitaka Kitao in the statement.
MFine’s platform “will enable smart optimisation of limited healthcare resources,” Heritas CEO and executive director Chik Wai Chiew added.
Heritas Capital is a private equity and venture capital firm that has also invested in Singapore-based biotech startup Hummingbird Bioscience, and biopharmaceutical company Tessa Therapeutics.
Healthtech startups in India have got a strong fillip over the past few months with social distancing norms creating significant demand for them. With the doctor-patient ratio in the country standing at an abysmally low level of 1:1400, telehealth is one segment that is witnessing increased traction. Other peripheral sectors that are in demand are e-pharmacies, B2B e-commerce, digital therapy, online fitness, and clinical intelligence platforms.