Healthfin, which offers financial assistance to patients who do not have medical insurance or those who are under-insured, will use the funds for tech upgrades and hiring.
Pune-based patient financing platform Healthfin has raised pre-Series A funding from Axilor, Sprout Venture Partners, and HNI investors. The startup refused to divulge details of the funding it had received, but sources in the industry said the company had raised $500,000. This is Healthfin’s first round of funding, and it plans to use the funds for technological upgrades and hiring.
Healthfin offers financial assistance to patients who do not have medical insurance or those who are under-insured and in need of immediate funds for medical procedures. Through its partnerships with various lending institutions, it helps reduce the financial burden of hospitalisation by arranging for instant patient loans at the hospital itself.
Currently, Healthfin’s services can be accessed by patients across six cities through 40 major hospitals and speciality clinics.
Parvaiz Hussain, CEO of Healthfin, said, “Average treatment costs at hospitals are constantly increasing. At a time of crisis, patients or their relatives find it challenging to arrange for funds immediately and this is where we come in.”
The company provides hassle-free access to finance and has served more than 3,000 customers so far.
Commenting on the funding, Parvaiz Hussain and Dr Sonia Basu, Co-founders of Healthfin, said, “Our roadmap is to reach 10,000 patients and disburse funds to the tune of Rs 100 crore over the next one year.”
Asutosh Upadhyay, of Axilor Ventures, said, “Many times, medical problems and emergencies catch people unawares. We live in a country where seven out of 10 people are uninsured. In such a scenario, patient finance at an hour of emergency is a huge need for majority of the market.” He added that Healthfin had been working methodically in solving the problem, and was “increasing its base rapidly and emerging as a leader in the space”.
Healthfin was founded by Parvaiz Hussain and Dr Sonia Basu in 2016. The duo has in-depth domain knowledge of finance and healthcare. Parvaiz has over 12 years of sales experience, having worked in banks like ICICI and HSBC; Sonia, a doctor, practised medicine for seven years and then did an MBA in hospital administration. She has been in healthcare business management since then.
Healthfin started in Pune with only two hospitals and a small team of seven. At present, HealthFin’s services can be accessed by patients in Delhi, Pune, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, and Nagpur at over 100 major hospitals such as Ruby Hall Clinic, Apollo, Fortis, Wockhardt, KIMS, Jehangir, Sahyadri Group, and many specialised clinics across India. They are now a team of 40-plus employees.
According to PWC, there has been heightened investor interest in the past five years in healthcare with transaction value increasing from $94 million (2011) to $1,275 million (2016) – a jump of over 13.5 times. Of this total, the maximum amount of money has gone to aggregator and doctor appointment businesses. Practo is the only healthcare company in India that has raised close to $234 million.
But Healthfin is one of the unique healthtech startups – at heart, it’s a fintech company providing finance to needy patients.