Globally, the cost quality and accessibility of healthcare varies widely. We believe that medical travel can help improve the range of options available to patients, but is currently constrained primarily by lack of reliable information and trust. Digital technology can help overcome these barriers and provide patients with the information they need to make decisions regarding their treatment options. Medical Departures is at the forefront of this, specialising in elective procedures for dental and cosmetic surgery.
The global medical travel industry is estimated to be $38B-$55B in 2014. Several trends are driving the growth of this growing market:
– Healthcare is becoming increasingly expensive in many parts of the developed world. Many procedures, for example in the dental and aesthetics categories, are typically not covered by medical insurance.
– Development of healthcare facilities has failed to keep pace with demand in some emerging market countries. Population growth and lifestyle changes has outgrown the pace of development of local healthcare facilities. This has resulted in a situation where more affluent parts of the population travel are willing to travel to neighbouring countries to access medical care and expertise.
– Quality of medical care is increasing certain emerging markets. In Southeast Asia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand have invested extensively into medical facilities above and beyond the needs of their domestic markets, both on large hospital and small clinic levels, in a concerted effort to attract medical tourists.
Southeast Asia is home to several large internationally accredited groups of hospitals such as Raffles Medical Group, IHH Healthcare, Bumrungrad International, and the Bangkok Dusit Group catering to international patients. These groups continue to rely on non-scalable channels to generate leads, most often using medical tourism agents, overseas branches/offices and doctor or patient referrals.
Founded in 2012 by Paul McTaggart, Medical Departures is a marketplace for international healthcare. It provides clinic information, patient reviews and facilitating the booking process for medical travellers from developed markets (such as the US, Canada, and Australia) who are looking for affordable and high quality elective dental and aesthetics surgery in emerging markets (mainly Mexico, Costa Rica, Thailand, Indonesia). Medical Departures works with hospitals and clinics in emerging markets to present their services online, enabling users to search, compare and book their treatment online, or with the assistance of a skilled customer service team.
The results are impressive, allowing patients to save up to 70% on the cost of their treatments. Clinics are eager to work with an efficient digital distribution partner and 2,500 from across Asia and Latin America have partnered with the company.
Medical Departures ambition is to provide better choices in quality healthcare. Dental and aesthetics are only the starting point, and they are working to offer a wider range of treatments from clinics across the globe. We are happy to leading be leading Medical Departures $2.5M Series A funding round alongside Burda International, CyberAgent Ventures and OPT Sea.
Mark Suckling and Mickey Thantiphipop will lead the investment for DMP. They will guide the team on hiring talent, and scaling the business into a category winner.
Access to financial services in emerging markets is inefficient. The traditional banking and insurance sector is tied to expensive branch and agent-based distribution networks, and is generally ill-equipped to maximise the use of newer digital channels. Established banks focus on a limited section of the population and have excluded, or provided poor choices to, many. As incomes rise and online access increases, more people demand better financial services. Technology can help solve both issues – making distribution more efficient for traditional banks and insurers, and enabling the creation of new financial products and, in some cases, new providers.
Across the region, a US$30B market opportunity exists in the distribution of banking and insurance products from traditional financial institutions. In the more developed and affluent parts of Southeast Asia, namely Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia, multiple financial products are promoted, consumer debt levels have risen quickly, and households tend to have multiple financial products. From the consumer’s point of view, banks are often still opaque when marketing their offerings and the insurance industry has barely started its transition to digital distribution. The regional opportunity is larger – 150M adults in Southeast Asia can be considered under-banked, and insurance penetration is up to 90% below developed market standards.
Based on the experience of other emerging markets, notably India (e.g. BankBazaar) and Russia (e.g. SravniSam), we expect the early stages in the development of digital financial services to be platforms that help banks and insurers manage digital distribution. Currently in Southeast Asia, few banks have sophisticated online marketing capabilities or comprehensive workflow systems that integrate their digital marketing, call centre, scoring / assessment and other efforts up to and including debt collection and other post-sale activities into a scalable, efficient process. This alone is a sizeable opportunity to but also leads to the opportunity, in due course, to supplement traditional products by capturing a superior set of consumer data and using it to build better products and services.
Jirnexu originally began as an online financial services aggregator, but has developed into an end-to-end solution for financial service providers, managing the process of customer acquisition from awareness building, through application processing to customer support. Its consumer solutions handle lead generation and application processing, through the Company’s consumer sites RinggitPlus.com in Malaysia and KreditGogo.com in Indonesia. Its B2B solutions are XpressApply, a hosted application processing process for the bank, and SORA, a specialised workflow management platform. Across the mix of business models, Jirnexu collects deep customer data sets in order to better understand demand for financial products.
The results are impressive. In a competitive market, Jirnexu has become a clear leader in Malaysia and has established a strong presence in its second market of Indonesia. To date, it has helped issue 40,000 credit cards, open 50,000 savings accounts, and disburse $30M of personal loans.
Jirnexu’s vision is to enable any customer in Southeast Asia to get any financial product they require. Matching customers to existing financial products is just the start, the ambition is to help those in the region who are currently under-banked or insured access suitable products. DMP is delighted to lead the company’s US$4.5M Series A funding round alongside NTT Docomo, Celebes Capital, Gobi Ventures, OSK and a number of influential angel investors from around Southeast Asia, many of whom have interests in the financial services industry.
The team of six founders have impressed us with their ability to understand the requirements of their markets and build products that solve the real problems that are present. The company already works with most of the large banks and insurers in Malaysia, and we are happy to support them as they continue to build on their strengths in Malaysia and beyond.
Khor Chieh Suang and Ada Yeo lead the investment from DMP, and will provide support and guidance on regional expansion and capital trajectory. Given the deep financial services experience amongst the pool of other investors, an advisory board will also be created to guide the company in operational matters, navigating industry regulation, and building the company into a regional leader.
Jirnexu is barrelling full-speed towards becoming a so-called “full-stack” financial services company, which basically means vertical integration.
“We will focus on developing a proprietary risk-scoring capability to provide better matching of consumer risk profiles with lenders and insurers,” says Siew Yuen Tuck, co-founder and CEO.
Reaching profitability is the all-important goal. But if traffic is an indicator, Jirnexu would have to get more than 10 million visitors to achieve this. That’s what India’s Bankbazaar needed to reach positive unit economics.
However, Jirnexu’s new business-to-business approach (it charges clients a “technology” fee for using XpressApply) could make the company harder to replicate and less reliant on site traffic for revenue.
Based on month-on-month figures and the current sales pipeline, it projects a revenue CAGR of 70 percent from 2014 to the end of this year, and 100 percent growth between this year and last year.
iPrice, an 18-month-old e-commerce aggregation service that’s active in seven countries in Southeast Asia, has closed a $4 million Series A funding round.
The investment was led by existing backers Asia Venture Group (AVG) and Venturra Capital, with participation from Gobi Partners, DMP, Econa and Starstrike Ventures. Malaysia-based iPrice previously raised $1.2 million one year ago, in addition to a $550,000 seed round that kicked the business off when it launched in early 2015.
CtrlShift, an audience-focused marketing solutions company, has launched its global suite of managed end-to-end solutions, r3.
Short for relevance, response, results, R3 uses data, technology and human expertise to deliver smarter and more targeted digital campaigns for brands across multiple channels.
CtrlShift, a digital marketing company, is eyeing to expand beyond Asia over the next few years, with US and Europe under its radar, as its hopes to tap on the growing demand for digital advertising. The company currently has presence in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines.
“We are now expanding to China and thereafter US and Europe. Within Southeast Asia (SEA), we are also exploring opportunities in Vietnam – an emerging market where we see strong growth potential for its digital advertising market. By entering the market early, we will have a head start in tapping on the country’s increasingly affluent and urbanised population as the market grows,” said CrtlShift chief executive officer Deepika Nikhilender (pic above: first from right) in an email reply.
Bangkok-based financial technology firm 2C2P Co was founded in 2007, and further proves that for all the benefits of youthful energy, a hefty dose of experience can go a long way.
“After almost a decade, we are now no longer a startup, having grown to become one of the leading financial technology (fintech) firms in Southeast Asia, reflecting the capabilities of Thai firms in this area,” said Thai-born Piyachart Ratanaprasertporn, who joined the 2C2P team in 2010 with expertise in business development.
Southeast Asian payments company 2C2P announced today that it has signed partnership deals with Nepal’s largest private bank Himalayan Bank Limited (HBL), its national flag carrier Nepal Airlines, and Kazakhstan’s principal airline and flag carrier, Air Astana.
2C2P will be processing online and offline payment transactions for the companies. HBL debit and credit card holders can now transact internationally and domestically with merchants that accept Visa, MasterCard, JCB, Unionpay International and Diners Club International. Nepal Airlines and Air Astana customers can also purchase their flight tickets online with the new partnership–a move to modernise the previously manual cash-based process.
migme CEO Steven Goh discusses how the company is continuing its monetization model through apps and games, and how migme is working towards a cashflow positive position in 2017.
GET ready for the next level: A joint report on Malaysia’s financial search trends by Google Malaysia and financial technology (fintech) startup Jirnexu Sdn Bhd has found that consumers are moving from merely comparing financial products online towards actually buying financial products online.
“The demand is there – people want to transact. If you are a product or service provider, you better be ready,” said Jirnexu founder Hann Liew.
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