Cross border healthcare startup Hospals raises $3.5M led by IPV, 9Unicorns, others

New Delhi-based Hospals, a cross-border healthcare and travel platform that enables international patients to access healthcare across India, UAE, Turkey, and Thailand, today said it has raised $3.5 million or Rs 26 crore in a new financing round with an aim to expand geographically to reach $900 million gross merchandise value (GMV).

Inflection Point Ventures, 9Unicorns, and Singapore-based Wavemaker led the new pre-Series A round. The round also saw participation from existing investor Venture Catalyst and prominent angel investors, including Kunal Shah, Sanjeev Mishra, and Razorpay founders.

Hospals was founded in 2018 by Danish Ahmed, Obaidullah, and Suneel Kapur. The New Delhi-based startup is addressing the deep gaps in medical tourism, health education, and universal health coverage by creating a tech-driven brand centered on the needs of patients across Asia and Africa.

Hospals said it connects thousands of patients from all over the world to the best hospitals, clinics, and hotels in India, Turkey, UAE, and Thailand, to avail the most suitable medical treatments and accommodation in their budget.

The startup uses its proprietary recommendation engine to find the best surgeons and cosmetic clinics for patients depending on their location, treatment, and budget. Since its inception, the startup has served over 22,000 patients from 38 countries to get medical advice, teleconsults, and surgical treatments across over a hundred hospitals in its network.

It claims to have a network of over 400 Hospals health consultants across 30 countries to provide local counseling and support to the patient. The startup also said it has witnessed a 6x increase in its growth in the last six months.

With this round of funding, Hospals will focus on expanding its presence geographically to reach $900 million in GMV, serving 1.5 million subscribers and patients to get quality medical and cosmetic treatments across the world, it said.

“Hospals started with a single vision to provide Universal Health Coverage. Through Hospals Assured, International Telehealth, and our concierge travel services, Hospals is enabling people across Asia & Africa to access world-class healthcare,” said Danish Ahmed, who was also a former Vice President at Paytm.

“We’re rapidly expanding our network of hospitals and collecting data points across the spectrum to help patients find the best surgeons and clinics across Asia,” he said. Danish further added besides healthcare, Hospals is also solving problems in accommodation, remittances, and medicine delivery across the border.

“We’ll soon launch fintech services like medical loans & crowdfunding to help patients finance their treatments beyond insurance coverage so that each human has access to the best healthcare globally,” he adds.

Prior to Hospals, Danish had earlier founded (sold to Flipkart) and Shopsity (acquired by Paytm).

Speaking on the investment, Vinay Bansal, Founder & CEO, Inflection Point Ventures, said: “Healthcare expenses which include treatment costs and traveling expenditure can be daunting for a family. Having a guided advisory from companies like Hospals can ease the stress as their model connects you with the best doctors and surgeons in their respective disciplines.”

“They also provide translation & residential assistance close to the hospitals. Hospals sit at the crossroads where it is helping patients and medical professionals,” Vinay adds.

“Hospals has reinvented itself to cater to the rising demand from this sector by facilitating end-to-end services including providing medical loans to the patients. We are optimistic that Hospals would emerge as the most significant player in the cross-border healthcare segment,” Dr. Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, Co-Founder of 9Unicorns and Venture Catalysts said.

According to the startup, Medical tourism is now a US$78 billion industry and was growing at 25% CAGR before covid brought international travel to a halt. With millions of patients waiting for surgeries for the past 2 years and thousands of medical travel companies shutting operations during Covid, Hospals saw the opportunity and is rapidly scaling its operations to service this backlog, it said.

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