Yuri Milner, the Russian billionaire known for his backing of Facebook Inc., and Google Capital are part of a group of investors considering backing Bangalore’s doctors search startup Practo Technologies Pvt. Ltd., the Times of India reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the development.
The fresh fund infusion could help the startup expand into more cities in India and new markets overseas. It may also help accelerate implementation of Practo's larger “preventive health” service, which the company has said is its longer-term vision. A spokesman for Practo declined to comment on the report.
This would be Practo’s third funding round, and the investors are close to putting 4 billion rupees (about $62 million) into the startup. Practo already has marquee investors, including early backer Sequoia Capital and Matrix Partners, which came on board in February as part of the second round of funding, raising $30 million.
Most people in India don’t have health insurance and typically pay for medical expenses on their own directly to their doctors, clinics or hospitals. As the country’s smartphone-led Internet boom gathers critical mass, businesses such as Practo could potentially facilitate deeper penetration of insurance.
With the advent of fitness apps and wearables, healthcare startups are also looking to build services that allow people to keep track of the basic parameters of their health, which could lead to better diagnoses and treatments.
Practo, which aims to connect people in need of doctors with the best options available via a simple search, has expanded to Singapore and the Philippines. In February, it raised $30 million in its second round of funding, which brought in investors including Matrix Partners.
For doctors, the startup has built a software-as-a-service business, allowing them to manage their data online, including sharing it with their patients.
Practo’s search engine sees some 2 million people making 4 million searches for doctors every month, the company said in a recent blog post.