After selling their previous startup to Quikr, Zefo founders are building an OYO for hospitals

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After selling their previous startup to Quikr, Zefo founders are building an OYO for hospitals
Ayu Health founders Karan Gupta, Himesh Joshi and Arijit GuptaAyu Health
  • Ayu Health to help digitise private hospitals and manages their operations.
  • It also offers technology for patient management, procurement and insurance processing.
  • The company has bagged $6.5 million to expand its network of 20 hospitals to newer cities.
  • The Series A round was led by Singapore-based Vertex Ventures and Stellaris Venture Partners.
After selling their used furniture ecommerce platform to online classifieds firm Quikr three years ago, the founders of Zefo have now brought in a unique healthtech offering to help digitise private hospitals and manage their operations.

Ayu Health, founded by Himesh Joshi, Arijit Gupta, and Karan Gupta in 2019, currently works with 20 hospital chains spread across Bengaluru and Chandigarh. The company started its journey with five-six hospitals in Chandigarh to aggressively test out its offering and expanded to another fifteen hospitals around the second wave of COVID-19 in April-May 2021.

The company now wants to expand its services to six cities by the end of 2022. These cities include Delhi NCR, Chennai, Hyderabad and more, Ayu Health’s cofounder Joshi told Business Insider in an interview.

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Ayu Health has bagged $6.5 million to turn this dream into reality. The Series A round, announced on September 16, was led by Singapore-based Vertex Ventures and Stellaris Venture Partners. Serial entrepreneur Ashish Gupta, Mamaearth’s cofounder Varun Alagh, EyeQ founder Rajat Goel also participated in the round.

The latest fundraise will help Ayu Health expand its hospital network to incorporate 5,000 beds compared to the existing 1,200, Joshi told Business Insider.

A part of the funding will also be used to upscale the company’s existing product suite such as insurance processing, procurement of products and clinical quality management at network hospitals.

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Joshi claimed that Ayu Health’s partner hospitals use its technology platform to improve clinical quality, procure medicines and consumables, and process insurance claims. This results in better clinical outcomes, a smooth in-hospital experience and transparent pricing for patients, he added.

The company has also digitised the entire consultation, medicine prescription and payments procedure to offer better experience to customers and avoid hospital visits. It helps its partner hospitals create a more asset-light network, where Ayu Health manages end-to-end administrative operations and the faculty looks into the clinical treatments.

Ritesh Agarwal-led budget hotel chain OYO also follows a similar model when it comes to the hotel and hospitality segment. The company partners with hotel chains across 80 countries offers tech solutions to digitise their business and claims to further enhance their business preposition.

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"The OYO analogy is fine, primarily this being a similarly asset-light model. We are also doing a lot more than just demand generation for our partners - technology for patient management and experience, procurement and insurance processing," Joshi added.

Joshi believes that India's healthcare space is still fragmented and the patients aren't always unsure about where to go and the quality of clinical services. “We felt very strongly whether there was a need to create a branded hospital that could solve for three pain points, transparency and pricing consistently good clinical outcomes and high quality experience,” Joshi said.

According to the Human Development Report 2020, India has only five hospital beds for 10,000 people. The lack of healthcare facilities and the onset of COVID-19 was one of the factors why India decided to introduce Telemedicine guidelines and National Digital Health Mission in 2020.

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More digitised solutions in healthcare can help companies like India tackle the lack of healthcare services and also strengthen the existing healthcare system. According to the Weforum report, the four digital themes in healthcare would include smart care, care anywhere, empowered care and intelligent healthcare enterprise.

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