Founded by couple Jo Aggarwal and Ramakant Vempati, Touchkin, a Bangalore-based healthcare technology startup uses mobile-based social sensing to enable proactive personalised care - bringing help to those who need it, from care experts or families.
Last month, the company received an investment of $400,000 seed funding by a group of angel investors. The flock of investors include leading figures in the entrepreneurship space such as Alok Mittal (ex-Canaan Partners), Amit Gupta (co founder, InMobi), Anuj Srivastava (ex Google, CEO and co founder Livspace), Himanshu Aggarwal (CEO, Aspiring Minds), Raghunandan G (co founder TaxiForSure) and Puneet Agarwal (ex Google, co founder Moneyview).
So how did they manage to secure this funding from a niche variety of investors?
Jo: Two reasons that really worked in our favour was our professional experience and the success that we had achieved at our work. There is a certain credibility factor that came from the fact that Ramakant worked for Goldman Sachs and I used to help run Pearson Learning Solutions. Our professional experience also helped in networking within the community. Most of our batch mates at IIT are some of the biggest investors in the industry today. Hence, they trust the team and its credibility, which makes it easier to get the initial seed funding and opens the door for investments.
Touchkin’s platform supports both a direct-to-customer app called StayClose, for families to care for each other when they are remote from each other, and an enterprise solution for healthcare providers to give them visibility of their patients’ wellbeing between visits for proactive and personalised care.
Jo: Initially we had thought of making a wearable. But when we said that we can actually do everything with the phone itself it became much easier. Investors mainly look for your ability to go-to market really fast, scale quickly and are not asset heavy. Investors don’t want companies which require huge investments to prove themselves.
The icing on the cake was that most of our investors were founders themselves and where at a stage wherein most of them had already toyed with this idea. Everyone wanted to create a solution wherein technology could enable remote care.
Both Jo and Ramakant come with their combination of skill set in product innovation and business analytics, which they have gained through several years of professional experience at ace companies which include Goldman Sachs, Barclays and Pearson Learning Solutions amongst others. Both Jo and Ramakant have also worked together for a social startup.
From being a working couple to becoming business partners
Jo: When you are working with your spouse, the highs and lows of your journey are both very extreme. During your lows you come back home and interact with your family which helps divert your mind. But when you are an entrepreneur couple, there is no escaping at home. Having said this, the highs are also memorable.
Ramakant: Your entrepreneurial journey is very personal and vulnerable and it becomes very easy to interact with your spouse, who is also your business partner. Both highs and lows of your journey are very extreme and only those who have travelled a similar path can really understand the nuances of this experience.