Economy

Healthcare tech is hot for venture capitalists

P. T. Jyothi Datta Mumbai | Updated on January 21, 2014

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Projects in India mainly focused on helping people to connect remotely





From wearables like wristbands that keep track of your physical activity to wireless weighing machines that help you track your weight fluctuations, technology is getting into healthcare with an eye firmly on the consumer.

The trend in far greater in the US, but healthcare influenced by information technology (HIT) is a niche that’s seeing increased activity in India, too.

This is indicated by the large number of deals in this segment, observed Raj Prabhu, co-founder of Mercom Capital Group, a global consulting and communications firm.

In the US, venture capital (VC) funding in HIT nearly doubled from $1.2 billion in 2012 to $2 billion in 2013.

Back home, though the total deal size is small at $12 million, the number of deals has increased to seven from one last year, he told Business Line over the phone from Texas.

India stands fourth, after the US, the UK and Canada, he pointed out.

And, despite the funding fatigue and recessionary trends that worry other sectors, “in terms of VC funding, this is the hottest sector”, he added.

Wearable technology is a huge trend in the US and the big push is on consumer-centric, focused technology, Prabhu said.

In India, the projects are mainly focused on helping people to connect remotely through computers, telephones and Skype.

Last year’s key transactions include VC funding from Burrill & Company for Strand Life Sciences, a Bangalore-based company providing products and solutions for data integration and analysis.

Bangalore’s Doctree Health Infoservices, which connects doctor and patient, raised $500,000. iKure Techsoft, a Kolkata-based developer of technology solutions for the delivery of healthcare services in rural areas, received an undisclosed amount in angel funding from Intellecap Impact Investment Network (I-cube-N).

It also raised funding from IIM-Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation Incubation & Entrepreneurship (CIIE), along with US-based investor Village Capital. Chennai’s Xcode, a preventive wellness programme provider, raised about $170,000 in angel funding from Shead Holdings, a micro-venture capital fund from the US, and an individual investor.

Bangalore’s InterpretOmics, a cloud-based software system for next generation genomics data analysis and interpretation, raised about $1.7 million in angel funding from Amarante and two undisclosed local investors.

MeraDoctor, a Mumbai-based provider of health-plus-finance — it combines medical advice with health insurance and discounts on tests and medicines — received funding from Accion through its Venture Lab.

In the mergers and acquisition space, Virinchi Technologies, a Secunderabad-based financial IT products, solutions and services company, acquired a majority stake in Asclepius Consulting & Technologies, a software solutions provider for mid-size hospitals and nursing homes in India, says Mercom in its list of local transactions.

>jyothi.datta@thehindu.co.in

Published on January 21, 2014

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