Singapore-headquartered health tech startup Doctor Anywhere has snatched SGD 88 million (USD 65.3 million) in a Series C financing round led by private equity firm Asia Partners, Novo Holdings, Philips, and OSK-SBI Venture Partners, bringing its total capital raised to more than SGD 140 million (USD 104 million).
With the fresh capital, Doctor Anywhere will further deepen its presence in its existing markets, including Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines. “We will utilize this funding to further enhance our digital capabilities and scale up our ability to deliver quality healthcare seamlessly to our users in Southeast Asia,” said Lim Wai Mun, founder and CEO of Doctor Anywhere.
Founded in 2016, Doctor Anywhere provides online and offline healthcare services. It connects users with locally licensed healthcare practitioners and provides medication deliveries. So far, the startup has serviced over 1.5 million users across Southeast Asia.
Lim told KrASIA in an email interview that the firm is set to widen its product suite. This includes expanding its healthcare specialty modules, shortening medication delivery times, as well as offering personalized healthcare plans. He added that the firm is set to ramp up hiring to support the company’s growth.
Telehealth startups are riding on tailwinds due to surges in COVID-19 infections caused by the highly contagious delta coronavirus variant. “Over the past 18 months, the COVID-19 pandemic has served as a catalyst to fast-track the adoption of telehealth services in the region, an innovation which enabled the healthcare industry to continue providing high-quality, affordable care to families through the crisis,” the company said in a press release.
Singapore-based global investors EDBI, Square Peg, IHH Healthcare, Kamet Capital, and Pavilion Capital also participated in the funding round. As a result of the financing, Oliver Rippel, co-founder and partner of Asia Partners, as well as Amit Kakar, head of Novo Holdings, will be on the board of directors.
“Doctor Anywhere is in a significant growth stage, with big daily incremental jumps in both new and repeated usage. On average, Doctor Anywhere has been growing its paid transactions at 300–400% year-on-year,” Lim added.
Despite this growth, the CEO said that user mindset, infrastructure, logistics, and network connectivity are the factors that hamper mass adoption of telemedicine in Southeast Asia.
Singapore plans to license telemedicine services in mid-2022 as part of its impending Healthcare Services Act, per a Strait Times report. The Ministry of Health rolled out a regulatory sandbox for telemedicine in 2018 to study the risks and introduced a list of over 600 telehealth service providers that comply with its requirements in February. Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines do not have specific laws that regulate telehealth.
Lim said some Southeast Asian states are preparing to roll out new telemedicine regulations. Currently, Doctor Anywhere is working with the Malaysian Ministry of Health to contribute insights on best practices to shape the regulatory framework.
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