From Working at TaxiForSure to Now Stitching Fintech & Healthcare Together
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Having spearheaded operations at TaxiForSure, one would have expected Tejbir Singh and Hemal Bhatt to kickstart something in the same domain. But the duo decided to turn the tide by venturing into one of the most difficult domains - healthcare amalgamated with finance at Affordplan.
Delhi-based Affordplan is a financial product that empowers hospitals to improve access and affordability to medical services for its patients. Affordplan is focused on making healthcare accessible and affordable through planned savings for non-emergency medical services. It enables hospitals to provide a tailored solution for patients to plan, save, and pay for their upcoming medical procedures.
In a brief conversation with Entrepreneur Media, Tejbir spoke about their decision to take this de-tour and future plans with the company.
Why this domain?
Talking about the key drivers that made them think of this product Tejbir said healthcare caught their attention for a couple of reasons.
This was the place where the access and affordability had always been a concern for the markets and one had not seen any kind of innovation in this space. Thirdly, this is a market which is almost 25 -30 times bigger than your cab market, he said. "When we looked at this healthcare we realized that the maximum impact where we can deliver is in the finance/transaction vertical where people face most of the problems to pay for their healthcare needs...," he adds.
Tejbir feels that from expanding TaxiForSure's network to 40 cities, this was just a "natural progression" into building something equally or even bigger in scale.
What helped funding from two marquee investors
The fintech startup has raised Rs. 20 Crores as part of its Series-A funding, led by Prime Venture Partners and Kalaari Capital as a co-investor. The company raised Rs.3 crores when selected as part of KStart's first incubator batch in early 2016. Over the past year the company has onboarded several hospitals with several hundred patients.
The company raised INR 3 crores when selected as part of KStart's first incubator batch in early 2016. Over the past year the company has onboarded several hospitals with several hundred patients.
Affordplan engaged with Kalaari when they were conceiving the KStart program and was the first company under that program. "Because we were one of the early companies in the Kstart programs, our interactions and involvement with the Kalaari product ecosystem has remained from day one.... Post the brainstorming of ideas during KStart had been very enriching. After KStart, Kalaari with their deep operational and fintech portfolio became a natural choice. We had spend enough time with them to feel comfortable and go back to them for the next round of funds," he said.
Talking about Prime, Tejbir said that the venture firm has the deepest fintech portfolio in the country. "Realizing the fact that they were trying to build a financial technology product within the healthcare vertical and not saying that it is a healthcare product, I think that could only be understood by someone coming from a core fintech background. I think we had a mutual appreciation for what they were brining to the table and what we were solving using financial technology," he adds.
Affordplan allows consumers to decide how much to save on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis - as per their chosen plan and then make regular payments at their convenience.
With the new round of funds, Affordplan aims to expand its team across verticals, build its network and scale to a minimum of three more cities.
Tejbir admits to the fact of healthcare being a challenging sector and that one hasn't seen much of innovation around this sector, and believes that one must persist and find the right partners. "One has to navigate his idea in a way such that you are able to deliver the impact also and make the other person realize that whatever I am brining to the table in the form of new products, is adding value not just for you but also for your patients. The entrepreneur must take both those parties hand in hand, the medical service delivery side and those who need it and tell them that you are brining this intelligent infrastructure to make your lives easy,"
"It's going to be a persisting journey, but hang in there and dots will connect!"