Softbank invests in digital health firm Alodokter
Gate Ventures-backed Indonesian digital health start-up Alodokter.com has raised around $7 million in a Series B round. Japan’s Softbank Group Corp. was among the investors that participated in the round, according to three people aware of the development. At the time of publishing this story, Alodokter had not responded to an email query on the new funding round.
Halodoc, whose Series A round in 2017 was joined by ride-hailing firm Go-jek, was said to be looking at raising over $15 million by early next year, while Alodokter was eyeing about $5-6 million.
In 2016, Alodokter had closed its $2.5 million Series A round led by Golden Gate Ventures, with participation from return backers 500 Startups and Singaporean entrepreneur Lim Dershing. All three investors had also participated in its seed round in April 2015.
Alodokter had then said it would use the proceeds to expand its business operations across South-east Asia. It currently generates revenue from advertisements by healthcarerelated brands on its portal and app.
Founded in 2014 by CEO Nathanael Faibis, Alodokter currently claims to have over 12 million monthly active users. It offers content about health, well-being and family. The start-up launched the Alodokter app in March 2016 that claimed to have over 150,000 users’ questions answered every month by doctors via a chat platform. Faibis had earlier said that Alodokter plans to launch a hospital comparison app soon.
Currently, Alodokter faces competition from local rivals Dokter.id, Meetdoctor, KlikDokter, and 1Health, apart from Halodoc.
Indonesia’s healthcare expenditure is expected to grow from $26 billion in 2014 to $51 billion by 2020, according to industry experts. The sector is currently dominated by out-of-pocket spending that constitutes about 75% of total transactions. With such low insurance-covered expenditure, there is an opportunity for direct-to-consumer play to optimize the value chain in healthcare. Many international investors are excited at this opportunity, given that such problems could be solved through advances in technology.
Indonesia’s healthcare market is already seeing growing interest from global and local investors. In October last year, private equity firm Saratoga Capital entered the space with an investment in hospital operator FABS. Other healthtech firms have also expanded to Indonesia, including the Philippines’ mclinica, a platform connecting pharmacies and collecting healthcare data, and India’s fastest growing healthcare start-up Practo.