The quarantine restrictions brought by the COVID pandemic forced consumers to have their ‘typical’ healthcare needs, like doctor check-ups and medicine purchases, done online. This led to an uptick in the adoption of healthtech applications - not only in Southeast Asia but all over the globe.
The figure below shows the total funding in the SEA healthtech sector received from 2017 to 2021. There was a dip in investments during 2020—at the height of the pandemic—but it bounced back to more than double of 2019 in 2021.
Key countries in Southeast Asia for healthtech startups are Singapore, Indonesia, and Vietnam. The top-funded healthtech companies are telemedicine and healthcare booking platforms. Top companies include Doctor Anywhere & DocDoc of Singapore and Halodoc & Alodokter of Indonesia.
Top investors for Southeast Asian healthtech companies are primarily in Asia, particularly in Singapore, Japan, and China. A few western investors from the United States of America and the United Kingdom are also interested in funding SEA healthtech startups. Most investors pumping cash in the sector are venture capitalists and accelerators, which is not surprising since healthtech is relatively a young sector for Private Equity funds.
A substantial Asian investor base in the sector means it will be easy for Southeast Asian healthtech startups to access funding and support. Also, Southeast Asian healthtech startups are not limited to only the investors in the region — they can also approach investors based in the US or UK.
The biggest deals in Southeast Asia are in Singapore and Indonesia. Doctor Anywhere in Singapore registered the highest equity round in the SEA healthtech sector back in August of 2021. Growth equity investor Asia Partners led Doctor Anywhere’s recent funding round. The round also attracted other investors, including Novo Holdings, Philips, and OSK-SBI Venture Partners.
Doctor Anywhere (DA) attracted massive funding because of its omnichannel approach. In addition to providing online medical consultations, DA has in-person clinics, home visits, medication deliveries, and an in-app marketplace for health and wellness products.
DA was founded in 2017 by Lim Wai Mun, an ex-investment manager in Temasek and a graduate of the National University of Singapore. Since its launch, DA has served more than 1.5 million users across Southeast Asia. DA services are available in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines. DA also recently established tech hubs in Bangalore and Ho Chi Ming City.
Halodoc, headquartered in Indonesia, is also one of Southeast Asia’s most prominent telemedicine players. Halodoc recently raised US $80M to expand its services in crucial healthcare verticals. The round was led by AstraDigital, a unit of Indonesian conglomerate PT Astra International, and participants include Temasek, Bangkok Bank, Novo Holdings, and TMI.
Halodoc was established back in 2016 by Jonathan Sudharta and Doddy Lukito. Halodoc allows Indonesian users to consult with more than 20,000 licensed doctors through its website or mobile application. Indonesian users can also order lab tests and medications from over 4,000 pharmacies.
As Southeast Asian users still continue to use healthtech products and services (please check my previous post), it will be interesting to see if the top players, such as DA and Halodoc, retain their market leadership. It might be the case that telemedicine and health booking platforms will no longer be the top business model as people will start going back to in-person consultations. It might also be the opposite, where users get used to the convenience of telemedicine platforms, and adoption rates increase further. Follow our healthtech blog series to know the answers to these questions!
About Rocket Equities
Rocket Equities is a Southeast Asia-focused financial advisory firm experienced in capital raising, M&A, and buy-outs.
Rocket Equities works with market leaders in tech and tech-enabled companies to raise capital in debt & equity markets, acquire competitors locally and regionally, and create an exit for founders by leveraging its network of 300+ professional investors composed of VCs, PEs, Corporates, and CVCs in APAC.