mfine, an India-based digital health startup has raised $17.2 million in Series B funding led by SBI Investment, a Japan-based venture capital firm and a subsidiary of the SBI Group. Singapore-based SBI Ven Capital which is SBI Group’s Southeast-Asian investment arm and tech-focused global venture capital firm BEENEXT also participated in the round alongside existing investors, Stellaris Venture Partners and Prime Venture Partners.
Founded in February 2017 by Ashutosh Lawania (Myntra co-founder) and Prasad Kompalli, mfine is an AI-driven, on-demand healthcare service that provides its users access to virtual consultations and connected care programs from the country’s top hospitals. The app-based mhealth platform partners with leading and trusted hospitals instead of aggregating individual doctors. mfine users can consult doctors from their preferred hospitals via chat or video to get prescriptions and/or routine care.
Growing Demand for Virtual Care in India
mfine’s success and uptake can be attributed to the dire need of a service which enables quick and easy access to medical services in a country which has a dismal doctor to patient ratio, predominantly out-of-pocket health spending and inaccessibility of quality care. India has one doctor for every 1700 people, and if one considers only specialists, this stands at one doctor for every 5000 people. There are 1000 primary healthcare cases & about 100 secondary healthcare cases reported in a hospital everyday and this number is rising along with the rise of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
On the other hand, more than 350 million smartphone users and rapidly falling bandwidth prices are redefining the way essential services like healthcare are being delivered in India. Increased internet penetration, rise in digital payments and big-ticket government initiatives like Ayushman Bharat is bringing in venture capital investment in home-grown digital health startups. Investments in Indian digital health companies reached an all-time high of $571 million in 2018.
mfine Business Model
Hospital partnerships enable mfine to make high-quality care of trusted doctors available on a digital channel. For the hospitals, mfine is their new center on the cloud bringing in more patients and offering premium services, long-term care programs, super specialties without any upfront investments. Specialist Doctors from these hospitals are assisted by mfine’s AI system, improving their efficiency & effectiveness dramatically.
mfine’s care team of more than 60 in-house doctors are working alongside the AI system offering the best possible diagnosis and care. The AI engine has the ability to diagnose and triage over 1200 common diseases, read hundreds of health parameters in the diagnostic reports thus saving significant time for the doctors.
Traction/Milestones to Date
Over 100,000 customers have consulted on mfine in the last 15 months and customer base is growing 30% month over month. More than 500 MD/MS doctors, including some of India’s top doctors from over 100 reputed hospitals practice across 20 specialties on mfine. Collectively, they have been able to expand their reach beyond the physical boundaries of the cities and have served over 800 towns in India.
With this fresh funding, mfine plans to solidify its leadership position in delivering an AI-driven, on-demand healthcare service across India. mfine will use the funds to expand its hospital network across the country, build its AI technology and expand the recently launched additional services which include delivering medicines, conducting preventive health screenings and diagnostic tests.
In the next 12 months, it will bring together India’s top 250 hospitals, from 10 cities with more than 2500 doctors onto its virtual hospital platform. The company will be tripling its investments in AI, mobile engineering and hardware integration.