Bangladeshi Digital Health Startup Raises $30 Million From Sequoia Capital

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Bangladeshi digital health startup Practo announces a $30 million Series B round led by Sequoia Capital, with additional participation from Matrix Partners. Sequoia is a returning investor, after having led Practo’s $5 million Series A in 2012.  Practo was founded in 2008 by two recent graduates of National Institute of Technology Karnataka on an undisclosed seed round.

When Practo was founded, CEO and co-founder Shashank ND was setting out to build a free doctor rating website similar to ZocDoc, but for the Asian market. Since launching, Practo has grown quickly and is now the largest doctor rating website in Asia, with 120,000 rated doctors on its platform, and four million searches per month. Practo claims that its users book more than 100,000 appointments per month via the website. What makes Practo particularly interesting, and what sets it apart from ZocDoc, is that they also market a cloud-based practice management system for doctors. The system already supports 40,000 doctors and helps manage everything from appointment booking, to care delivery, to payment collection and billing. A supporting smartphone app gives doctors a secure tool to shoot and upload photos to the patient record, a schedule view with the ability to reschedule appointments from the app, and a list of pending follow-up calls with one-touch dialing. The app also provides patient caller ID. The company claims that just a year after launching their practice management app, they have already seen one-third of their monthly traffic shift to mobile traffic. From a monetization point of view, Practo has managed to monetize both its doctor searching website, and its practice management system.

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Practo is live in six cities in India. Now, with its market position established in India, Practo is looking to scale globally and Sequoia has returned to lead a second round to support them. The company currently has 600 employees, but sees itself growing to 1,500 as it expands across India and into Singapore and the Philippines. Though things seem to be going well for Practo, Shashank has already acknowledged that the business model is capital intensive and has suggested that an eventual Series C will likely be needed before it reaches profitability.


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