With this funding, Medypal will help patients find trustworthy service providers who will bid against each other for their spend on medical procedures. Medypal will use a “reverse auction” method to ensure that the services are competitively priced and patients are able to pick the service provider they want.
Healthcare is a booming industry in India and is expected to reach $100 billion by 2016. The challenge, though, is to provide affordable services to millions, many of whom are not even covered under any medical insurance. Moreover, a majority of healthcare consumers in India rely on friends and family to select a service provider. By offering information on-the-go, and getting online quotes from service providers in real time, Medypal wants to change that.
Commerzpoint founders P Rammohan and Brahmesh Jain are no strangers to finding opportunities in India’s healthcare sector. They founded the country’s first and the largest health insurance exchange, Healthsprint, in 2006.
With more than half of India’s 160 million users accessing Internet on their mobiles, there is an opportunity to be tapped in delivering healthcare services. Medypal will be offering a free mobile app to healthcare consumers. The Medypal service will go live February 1.
“Using the app, patients can search for healthcare procedures, go through the list of hospitals offering those procedures, browse through the profiles of the doctors, and check the facilities offered by hospitals before finally shortlisting the hospitals,” said Rammohan. “The app will also allow patients to ask for proposals from the hospitals and book appointments while on the move.”
The startup plans to make money on leads generated and passed on to healthcare service providers.
“We are in the final process of signing up with 300 health care providers in Bangalore ranging from large hospitals, diagnostic centre chains to dental clinics and cosmetic surgical centres,” said Rammohan.
“There is no easy way to get objective information on service provider availability, quality and pricing,” Commerzpoint said in a statement announcing the funding. “This is especially challenging for low-income families who have even less information, education, connections and financial reserves.”
As we reported last month, Unitus raised its second fund of $3.3 million to help people at the bottom of the economic pyramid access basic necessities in India. The new fund invests in for-profit startups in India. “We are investing in a team, which has demonstrated success in scaling healthcare services to the masses in India,” said Dave Richards, managing partner of Unitus Seed Fund.