Medinfi, the healthcare start-up that helps people find doctors and hospitals in the neighbourhood, aims to cross 1 million user base by the end of fiscal year 2016-17. At present, the company has more than 45,000 users with about 11,250 monthly active users.
The healthcare firm was launched in Bengaluru in July 2014 by co-founder and CEO Ravi Shankar Mishra, who received support from his wife Himani Ravi Mishra. The user base started to grow tremendously since January this year. The user base of Medinfi is growing at the rate of 600 percent every month since January 2016, Ravi said.
“Our user base is growing at 600% Month-on-Month since January’16 with a healthy monthly active user base. We intend to cross 1 million user base by March’17 while maintaining our quality of user engagement,” Ravi said. It could be anticipated that Medinfi would achieve its target with its plan to expand the services to more cities.
It is planning to expand to 50 cities in India and one overseas by the end of this financial year, Ravi said. “We may look at cities like Trivandrum, Nagpur, Jalandhar, and Patna, to name a few,” Ravi said. At present the company is operational in 12 cities – Bengaluru, New Delhi, Mumbai, Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon, Pune, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Navi Mumbai and Jaipur.
Besides expanding to other cities, the founders plan to launch an iOS application of Medinfi this financial year. At present, the users can use its service through the website and mobile application available on Android.
How is Medinfi getting financial support?
The company initially raised funds through seed funding in 2015 and again in 2016 by an angel investor. The company has so far raised Rs. 2.5 crores from more than 10 investors in India, the United States, Singapore, Germany, and United Arab Emirates, Ravi said.
Gurmeet Chahal, Hemant Kaul, Pradeep K Jaisingh, Rajnish Sinha, Ram Kumar Kakani, Sunil T V and Vijay Ghadge are some of the investors, according to data available on Crunchbase.
The company is planning to stick to raising funds from the angel investors for now. “We have consciously chosen to work with angel investors who can add value beyond the capital and can open the doors for our early stage start-up,” Ravi said.
Ravi said the company would use “digital advertisement as well as online diagnostics services for growing” revenues once the company reaches its over 1 million user base target.
“Both these models have healthy profit margins and have been successfully proven in India and abroad across varied sectors including healthcare. Since we have typical ‘network effect’ model, our costs go down significantly given the user contribution to our content acquisition and marketing efforts,” he said.
Users of Medinfi have suggested their preferred doctors and hospitals through the healthcare platform. At least 10 percent of “database of 12000+ doctors & clinics in 12 Indian cities has been suggested by our users,” Ravi said.
The company hopes to raise Series-A round of funding by the end of this year. It has been selected for finals of Red Herring Award for top 100 Asia 2016 in Manila, Philippines.
Why Ravi chose a healthcare start-up?
While starting Medinfi, Ravi’s major target was people who moved to different and new cities for jobs and education. People usually reach out to their friends and relatives for references when they need to see a doctor or visit a hospital. But with constant migration within the country, people often depend on the information available on the web.
“This need for trusted technology platform becomes acute in the case of migrant working professionals who don’t have the concept of ‘family doctor’ unlike their previous generations. Given their hectic lifestyle and frequent relocation, their offline network is fairly limited, though they have continuous access to internet,” Ravi said.
Another motivating factor to start Medinfi was his desire to live in a society wherein healthcare providers keep a balance between providing healthcare services while “generating revenues in the process.”
The factor – trust – was essential in the making of this company, stresses Ravi, who feels a certain degree of trust deficit between patients and service providers was witnessed in the healthcare industry. According to him, lack of government infrastructure and participation are some of the several reasons behind it.
How Medinfi started?
“The trigger for starting Medinfi came through a personal experience of finding a good diabetologist for my mother when I had just relocated to Bengaluru from Delhi,” Ravi said. Ravi moved to Bengaluru to join Amazon in 2012.
The journey to making his dream real was not a smooth sail; he had to face many challenges on the way, but he was able to overcome those during the process.
“The biggest challenge was to find an innovative revenue model which could fuel our ambition of being India’s most trusted healthcare brand. The second challenge was to build an ecosystem required to solve this complex problem,” he said.
It took him around one and a half years of “market research for further validating the user need and arriving at the business model for Medinfi.”
Even before Medinfi was launched, another healthcare company, Practo, had already become a known name in the industry. However, Medinfi does not see Practo or other healthcare business as its competitors. It claims to be different from others.
“Medinfi is pure-play content platform for taking healthcare decisions and doesn’t fall in the same space as transactional platforms like many others operating in India today. Our revenue model doesn’t depend on doctors or hospitals as our platform is completely free for both users as well as doctors and hospitals,” Ravi said.
“We focus on 100% verification of our database to ensure that the information is verified and reliable at any given point in time, unlike transaction platforms where the focus is primarily on 20%-30% of their inventory which drives their revenues,” he said.
Meet the co-founder, Ravi
Ravi, a Production Engineer graduate from Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi, and a post-graduate holder from Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur, has about 10 years of work experience. He worked as Tata administrative services (TAS) Manager with Tata Group between 2007 and 2009 and spent the next three years at Nueve Consultancy as founder director.
He then worked as an entrepreneur in Jabong for a year and went on to join Amazon as the head of retailer marketing in 2012. He started his own venture, Medinfi, after leaving Amazon in 2014.
Being an entrepreneur himself and having faced the challenges of starting his own ventures, Ravi suggests the young entrepreneurs “to focus on real life problems while building solutions through their ventures. I would also advise them to prepare for at least 3-5 years of struggle to avoid heartburns and disappointments.”