Spurred by increased adoption of digital health in India midst COVID-19 pandemic
Digital health startup MFine has raised $16 million in a new funding round led by Heritas Capital with participation from Singapore-based family office of Y’S Investment. Existing MFine investors including SBI Investment, SBI Ven Capital, BEENEXT and Alteria Capital have also followed-on in the round. The oversubscribed round wraps up a strong year for MFine with the company achieving 10x growth amidst exponential adoption of telemedicine and digital health in India in 2020.
The company release points out that the COVID-19 pandemic has supercharged global funding activity in digital health in 2020. In 2020, telemedicine was the top-funded category and led VC funding activity with $4.3 billion, a 139 per cent YoY increase compared to $1.8 billion in 2019. Global venture capital funding in digital health came to $14.8 billion, a 66 per cent increase compared to $8.9 billion in 2019, according to Mercom Capital’s annual report on funding and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity for the digital health sector for 2020.
With this fresh funding, MFine plans to reinforce its leading position in delivering an AI-driven, on-demand healthcare service across India, and aims to be one of the largest virtual hospitals in the world with services across primary care, secondary care and chronic care management in collaboration with its trusted partners. MFine will deploy the funds towards tripling its investments in AI, mobile engineering and device integration; expanding its hospital network across the country; scaling the recently launched services which include delivering medicines, preventive health screenings and diagnostic tests. The company will also initiate Series C fund-raising in the coming months.
The COVID-19 pandemic, subsequent lockdown measures and the release of Telemedicine Guidelines by Government of India have led to the widespread adoption of telemedicine in India. A new standard for digital health services including health IDs, personal health records, Digi Doctor and a health facility registry has also been announced in August 2020 under the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) to support universal health coverage for India’s citizens.
As per the release, since COVID-19, more than one million users have utilised MFine’s platform to teleconsult with doctors on chronic conditions such as diabetes and arthritis and acute illnesses including viral infections, and for varying services including diagnostics, health checks, radiology and e-pharmacy.
“The year 2020 has been very significant for us. During the pandemic, with the introduction of strict lockdowns and social distancing measures, we found ourselves in a unique position to help millions of people with access to essential healthcare services. We are seeing incredible traction on the provider and consumer side. Our vision of digital health as a solution to scale quality healthcare delivery has been accelerated by two years. The entire ecosystem is now on an accelerated transformation with the Indian government also introducing the National Health Stack. India is on the cusp of redefining healthcare delivery, and we are actively engaged in shaping and leveraging this big shift,” said Prasad Kompalli, Co-founder & CEO, MFine.
In 2020 MFine expanded its geographical coverage beyond physical boundaries of the cities to serve people from over 1,000 towns in India and launched several new services such as AI-based self-assessment of various health conditions, long term care programmes for chronic conditions and membership to offer benefits on all the services for its direct consumers and also corporates.
“MFine has developed a compelling solution that has proven to be highly impactful during this pandemic to ensure continued and trusted access to quality and affordable healthcare services. We believe that MFine’s collaborative partnership model with hospitals and doctors powered by the application of AI will enable smart optimization of limited healthcare resources to address unmet needs throughout India and beyond,” said Chik Wai Chiew, CEO and executive director, Heritas Capital.
“This is a great example of how mobile connectivity and advances in technology can aid in providing primary health care to millions of people. We see huge potential MFine’s state-of-the-art AI and mobile technology platform and its ability to scale beyond India as COVID-19 has accelerated the use of telemedicine and digital health in India and other regions in SEA,” Yoshitaka Kitao, representative director and chairman, SBI Investment.
“MFine has pioneered the access to top-class, trusted medical care in India. Despite 2020 being a difficult operating year, the MFine team has demonstrated its strong execution capability to add new capability, launch new offerings, accelerate traction while achieving strong economics. We are excited to continue backing the MFine team to create a large, world class healthcare company with deep positive impact,” said Teruhide Sato, founder and managing partner, BEENEXT.