The healthcare platform Practo got a boost in confidence this January when it raised USD 55 million in a Series D funding led by Tencent, with three new investors on board (Russian venture Capital (VC), Japan’s Recruit holdings investment arm RSI Fund and US-based Thrive Capital. This led to Practo revamping its positioning from a medium for facilitating exchange of information and health records between doctors, patients and healthcare providers to aiming to become a one-stop destination for everything in the healthcare ecosystem.
2017 will see the brand’s business expansion with the main focus on investing further in the platform and making it more accessible to Indians. Practo will expand its medicine delivery and diagnostic services, currently available in the tech hub of Bengaluru to all major Indian cities and partner with health insurance providers under the new rebranding.
Talking about the rebrand, Shashank ND, Founder & CEO, Practo said, “We are excited to reveal our new global brand identity that better reflects our role in the ecosystem. Practo is the platform that connects any two stakeholders in healthcare, be it patients, providers, insurers, medical devices and more. Our positioning, ‘Your Home for Health’- reflects what we stand for; the trusted and familiar place where consumers can find solutions for their healthcare challenges. For healthcare providers, we are the single destination that connects them to patients as well as provides them the tools to digitise, manage and grow their practice. As we open our platform to other stakeholders in healthcare, we are excited to see the amazing experiences they will build to dramatically improve healthcare around the world.”
Varun Dubey, VP marketing and Monetisation, Practo, explains further, “At the moment we are focussing on health insurance. This does not mean Practo as a company will provide health insurance to consumers, or will enter any domain of insurance. We will just help the consumers to leverage our platform for the same in a few months’ time.”
A new focus
The home-grown platform has seen 150 per cent growth in online consultations; a 116 per cent rise in patients visiting Practo and 81 per cent more appointments being booked. “Practo’s road map and vision is to help people to live a longer, happier and healthier lifestyle,” added Mr Dubey.
Practo is available in 15 other countries outside India such as Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brazil to name a few. The company stats suggest that there has been a 129 per cent growth in appointment bookings in international markets in 2016 as against 2015.
As part of the revamp, there is a new logo and a more user friendly app. With the remodelled app, a consumer can now exchange his reports with a doctor online and take consultations. This Medi-chat facility is available for a period of 24 hours with a nominal fee of 200-300 Rs. The consumer can now update their entire medical history and records on the app and share them with the doctor even before they book an appointment. The app now also allows the consumer to set up reminders for their medical dosage.
The new logo has the company name ‘Practo’ preceded and succeeded by two dots. The two dots represent the two entities in healthcare i.e consumers and providers and Practo is at the centre enabling these connections.
“The biggest focus of Practo as a healthcare brand has been to be as engaging as possible with its consumers. Simplifying healthcare has been the idea,” Mr Dubey stated.
The next step is to reach out to all the other players in the healthcare industry and expand their user base as well as gain knowledge on consumer behaviour by leveraging the company’s customer traction. Practo has seen a 157 per cent growth in reviews on the platform in the past year.
Mr Dubey says the idea of this brand exercise is different than what has been perceived so far. “The next step that we will take can fundamentally change the healthcare sector in India. It is very important to understand that we do not want to revamp the company. What we are doing now was the plan all along. But we now have enough stakes to move forward in the right direction,” he explained.
The new brand identity, which comes with the tag line ‘Your home for health’, is purported to reflect Practo’s expansion into new verticals and intent to evolve into a coveted destination for patients as well as healthcare providers.