Venture capital investment in Indian Healthcare Information Technology (HIT)/Digital Health start-ups has declined 56% year-on-year in 2016 at $71 million compared to the previous year. In 2015, as many as 33 deals were struck for an investment of $162 million.
However, in 2016, the number of funded deals nearly doubled to 51 deals, according to Mercom Capital Group, LLC, a global communications and consulting firm focused on healthcare IT and cleantech among others.
“The Indian Healthcare IT sector is still very small and a few big deals can make the numbers look bumpy. However, the number of funded deals more than doubled year-over-year. While a lot of them were smaller deals, it is a healthy sign that there are a lot of start-ups coming up in this space,” Raj Prabhu, CEO and co-founder of Mercom Capital Group told FE.
He said the year 2017 is set to see the trend reversing and there could be more fund flow into the healthcare IT sector compared to 2016.
However, on a global scale, Venture capital funding, including private equity and corporate venture capital, in the Healthcare IT sector came in at $5.1 billion in 622 deals in 2016, a new record for the sector. By comparison, $4.6 billion was raised in 2015 in 574 deals.
Practo, a healthcare platform that connects patients with doctors, has been the biggest success story in the healthcare sector in India till now. It has so far raised $179 million.
Among the major deals signed in 2016 include $16 million raised by 1mg (previously HealthKartPlus), an online price shopping and drug delivery company that allows users to search for medication and get information on dosage, common uses, and warnings. This was its Series B funding round led by Maverick Capital Ventures, Sequoia India and Omidyar Network.
During the third quarter of 2016, CureFit, developer of healthcare and fitness app, raised $15 million in Series A funding from Kalaari Capital, Accel Partners, and IDG Ventures. HEAL Institute, a sports-focused fitness and wellness start-up, raised up to $$7.5 million in funding from a group of high-profile investors including former Standard Chartered ace banker Jaspal Bindra and Parth Jindal, son of JSW Group chairman Sajjan Jindal.
HealthifyMe, developer of a health and fitness mobile app raised $6 million in Series A funding led by IDG Ventures India, Inventus Capital and Blume Ventures during the second quarter. Healthians, an online healthcare marketplace that helps users discover affordable healthcare using a quality and price transparency tool, raised $3 million in Series A funding led by BEENEXT, Digital Garage, BEENOS, and others.