In May 2018, ImpactGuru.com, a fintech company, India’s largest healthcare crowdfunding platform announced a $2m Series A round co-led by Apollo Hospitals Group, Asia’s largest and most trusted healthcare group and Venture Catalysts, India’s first integrated incubator. Joining this Series A Round today is Shorooq Investments, Silicon Valley-style venture capital firm based in Abu Dhabi and several angel investors from the GCC region.
Healthcare crowdfunding is an alternative method of raising funds online for out of pocket medical expenses (which are not reimbursed by insurance), with the patient or his/her friends or family primarily relying on social media networks and email to mobilize donors to finance the relevant medical bills. For instance, if someone needs $50,000 to fund a medical expense, the traditional way of financing it was to go to approx. 5 close family members or friends and borrow about $10,000 each. ImpactGuru.com is disrupting this financing method through its technology platform by making it easy for people to make an appeal to say 100 people and getting each person to donate $500 each, which is a faster and more economical way to collect $50,000 than asking for help from 5 people. The additional advantage of crowdfunding is that patients do not have to repay that money back to the funders as the money provided online is a donation and not a loan.
Crowdfunding as a next-generation financing method to pay for healthcare is particularly relevant for GCC’s strong middle-class population as out of pocket expenses % private healthcare expenditure ranges between 50-70% in most GCC countries and the culture of generosity is increasing rapidly. A recent Cigna survey concluded that close to 50% of UAE residents are concerned that they will be unable to pay for their family’s or own medical expenses, above their mandatory employee coverage. Currently, GCC governments fund about 70% of all healthcare expenditure (est. at US$76bn by Alpen Capital). Funding this healthcare bill is increasingly challenging in the current environment of lower oil prices, aging population, increasing the prevalence of chronic diseases – particularly cancer and diabetes.
ImpactGuru.com is also keen to expand into the GCC region as more than 7mm Indian diaspora are already living there and GCC based donors already account for about 15% of donations originating outside of India on ImpactGuru.com. ImpactGuru.com is now looking to partner with private hospitals, clinics, health tech startups, and NGOs to accelerate its GCC entry and scale its operations. ImpactGuru.com will ensure full regulatory compliance in each jurisdiction in which it operates.
Piyush Jain, Co-Founder, and CEO, ImpactGuru.com said “ImpactGuru.com is thrilled to receive the backing of Shorooq Investments to scale crowdfunding in GCC and make healthcare affordable for all. The potential to use technology to crowdfund for help is limitless in the face of GCC’s accelerating smartphone, internet, and digital payments penetration. We look forward to providing the best and most cost-effective patient financing solution in the market today as the first mover in the GCC region.”
Shane Shin, Founding Managing Partner at Shorooq Investments and Mahmoud Adi, Co-Founding Partner at Shorooq Investments said “Crowdfunding for medical bills and other personal causes has been one of the most successful and impactful business models around the world. Crowdfunding is just a natural progression of how financial technology makes our society more connected, collaborative and efficient. We are extremely excited about our investment in ImpactGuru.com and are already in advanced discussions to pilot this disruptive business across the GCC region.”