Mahindra Partners forays into healthcare

 E Kumar Sharma        Last Updated: April 5, 2017  | 21:02 IST
Mahindra Partners forays into healthcare

Medwell Ventures Private Limited, the operator of Nightingales specialty home healthcare (Out of hospital) services in India, on Wednesday, April 5,  announced that it had received a $21 million (around Rs 137 crore) Series B investment round led by Mahindra Partners with participation from existing investors, Eight Roads Ventures and US-based F-Prime Capital Partners, alongside early angel investors and the founders.

Speaking to Business Today, company Chairman Vishal Bali said, "this is the first investment by Mahindra Partners in the healthcare sector and therefore along with this investment, we also get a Mahindra collaboration." Nightingales will now carry the Mahindra brand name too and therefore to Bali this, in a sense, is more than an financial investment and is, as he says, "a massive validation for an  early stage company."

Despite the challenges that home healthcare space operates with, there is hardly any insurance penetration in this space and most of it is out -of-pocket payments -- it would mean a greater hit in times of demonetisation. In fact, the company, which has been posting a 10 per cent month-on-month growth since its inception in 2014, Bali says, took a hit post demonetization in the third quarter when growth dropped to close to 7 per cent.

"We are seeing growth coming back," says Bali. He says the Nightingales Home Healthcare business has grown rapidly from a single branch and 30 people in Bangalore in 2014 to 13 branches across 4 cities (Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Pune) with a full-time team of over 1000 medical, paramedical and healthcare professionals. Since inception, it has raised little over Rs 200 crore. "On the back of this funding, we will launch in NCR, Chennai and look at opportunities in Eastern India, especially locations like Kolkata and Bhubaneswar. "

These he sees has huge underserved markets. Kolkata for instance, he says, with its 14 million population remains largely underserved with just about couple of players. This will make the company a pan-India player.  

That apart, he says, this funding would be used to expand its base of technology and also expand the portfolio of service offering in more clinical specialties and build presence in segments like oncology, arthritis and expand in pulmonology. Currently, the focus is more on areas such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), neurology and cardiac care.

He says Nightingales Home Healthcare today provides over 25,000 services each month and plans to support more than 1 million patients in the next few years. The Nightingales team comprises doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, speech therapists, and trained bedside paramedical caregivers specialising in chronic care disease management.

They develop care plans for chronic diseases such as congestive heart failure, stroke management, COPD, diabetes, dementia, Alzheimer's disease and arthritis with health outcomes being monitored through a validated protocol-driven approach.

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