The Story of Practo

In the world before Practo: in case you had a family doctor then for general inquiries, you didn’t have to bother much. But for specialized cases, it was still hard to know which doctor to go to and Indians had to keep asking references. Those that didn’t have a family doctor, ask them and they’ll tell you how big an issue health care is. And if you’re not from a city, here are the healthcare statistics in India.

You have to just keep asking people via phone calls and take opinions, which may not be facts all the time. And the amount of information you get is just a handful. And then if you come to know of a doctor, scheduling appointments – another headache.

Most people then take to this mantra:

“Let’s go on with life and hope that the problem goes away.”

Practo has, for the benefit of all – organized this sector – both for the doctors (service providers) and patients (customers).

You can search, category wise for the service you need.

Practo users can quickly search for the right doctor based on a number of parameters, like location, timings, area of specialization, ratings or name. They also can get an idea of the projected fees and feedback by other prior customers on how their experience was with this doctor. It has not only made healthcare easier to access, but the quality of services transparent.

This has also caused it to become great attraction over the social platforms covering lots of fans on Facebook and Twitter. It has recently grabbed attention of media by raising $90 million funds from the investors and then another $55 million.

practo in the app store

Who are the founders of Practo: Shashank ND and Abhinav Lal

When did it start: 2008, when both the founders were studying computer engineering at NIT Karnataka.

How did the idea come about: One of the founder’s father needed a knee surgery and he couldn’t find the right doctor so easily. The founder also recalled that – we have a trace of our emails even 10 years ago, but not of our medical data.

Practo started in India but is now expanding to other countries pretty fast. Here’s their video for the campaign they are doing in Brazil.

Today Practo claims to aggregate over 200,000 doctors, across a network of 10,000 hospitals, 8,000 diagnostic centers, and 4,000 wellness and fitness centers in India, Brazil, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore.

They started with a seed capital of around Rs.10 lakh ($16.2k) in 2009. At that time they called it Turbodoc.in, and it was incubated by Morpheus Venture Partners in Bangalore.

Here’s the next few funding rounds they had:

practo funding roundsSource: Crunchbase

If we average it out, Practo has grown almost four times year-on-year in its first 8 years.

Developed countries spend, on an average, between 10 and 12 percent of their GDP on healthcare. The US is at 16 percent. India spends only 4 percent of its GDP on health care, and this too is not very organized. Hence, Practo, because there’s a big need to solve the problem that exists, puts its main focus in India.

Based on the data shown in Livemint, Practo’s revenue increased more than 10 times, to Rs.29.73 crore in fiscal 2015 from Rs.2.30 crore a year earlier, while the company incurred a loss of Rs.12.85 crore until March, as against Rs.9.88 crore in the year-ago period, according to documents filed with the Registrar of Companies (RoC).

The company’s expenses grew more than three times, from Rs.12.19 crore in fiscal 2014 to Rs.42.59 crore, while revenue grew more than 10 times. This means, that the business model is in the right place.

India is home to at least 140 start-ups in the doctor-booking and practice management software segment, according to Tracxn, a company which provides data on start-ups.

To maintain growth technically, and not face any roadblocks, they build their products on their own API. So that scaling is never going to be an issue technically and also so that their data is secured and encrypted. The future looks good for Practo.

If you liked the kind of data shown here and are interested in knowing more about biopharma startups, you should also check out the Traxn blog on biopharma.

There’s another article we have done based on the data provided by the government of India on the different biotech startups that are coming up, sector wise. Be sure to check that out as well.

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