Bangalore-based affordable medical technology and solutions company Forus Health Pvt. Ltd. (Forus) has successfully raised Series A funding of $5 million from two leading venture capital funds, Accel Partners and IDG Ventures India. Unitus Capital was the sole advisor to Forus for the transaction. This is a big news for the Healthcare Startup Eco-system in India and validates the innovation which Forus has brought in our market. Leveraging Cloud, Tele-medicine and Data Center facilities, Forus represents the coming of age of the Web 2.0 version of Indian Healthcare.
Forus’ mission is to address the healthcare delivery issues in the developing world through innovative and inclusive product design, and service deployment. Its flagship product 3nethra, a portable, low cost, non-mydriatic, non-invasive pre-screening ophthalmology solution, can detect Cataract, Glaucoma, Diabetic Retina, Refraction and Cornea problems – diseases that contribute to 90% of avoidable blindness in India.
What also differentiates 3nethra is that it can be operated by a minimally trained technician, and can be deployed in remote areas. It has also gained widespread acceptance within the ophthalmic community because of its superior imaging capability for screening and ease of use. Beyond 3nethra, Forus plans to develop other medical technologies that address healthcare delivery problems.
Healthcare delivery is one of the most serious challenges faced by India. India has only one doctor for every 2,000 people – 1/3rd the world average, and for specialties such as ophthalmology the ratio is 1:14000. The low doctor-to-patient ratio, illiteracy, and poor rural reach of healthcare infrastructure have exacerbated the problem. “Technology can help us rethink healthcare delivery, and perhaps technology can transform healthcare from being cure-centric to prevention-centric and hence have a deeper impact in people’s lives. ”, says the President & CTO of Forus, Dr. Shyam Vasudeva Rao , PhD. “ We will focus on developing technologies for early screening which will help the doctors to focus on needy patients only” Dr. Rao further added.
Forus is led by entrepreneurs Dr. Shyam Vasudeva Rao and K Chandrasekhar, two deeply experienced technology professionals. Dr. Shyam holds a doctorate from IISc and was previously the Director Technology, Philips Healthcare at Phillips Innovation Center, Bangalore. Chandrasekhar, an alumnus of IIMC and BITS, Pilani, was previously the Director of Strategy at NXP Semiconductors.
“Endorsement and motivation by ophthalmic community and the larger medical fraternity around the world and specially India has encouraged us to further our mission. This coupled with Investors like Accel Partners and IDG Ventures India showing deep commitment to support this mission will really go a long way in bringing the desired change” K Chandrasekhar, the CEO, stated. “The funds currently raised by the company will be used to drive manufacturing and sales of the 3nethra, and to accelerate research on 3nethra and other devices” Chandrasekhar added.
“We are always interested in platform technologies that can deliver healthcare cost effectively. The pre-screening technology developed by Forus holds tremendous potential and will help address issues relating to avoidable blindness globally.” said Ranjith Menon, Vice President of IDG Ventures India.
“Forus has an outstanding team that has built a world-class product all set to revolutionize ophthalmology pre-screening. We are excited to partner with them to assist in their continued success and to build a highly impactful company.” said Anand Daniel, Accel Partners
“We are proud to be associated with Forus, Accel Partners, IDG Ventures India and the capital raise. Forus and technologies such as 3nethra have the potential to bridge the massive healthcare divide by reducing the cost of healthcare delivery. The immense business potential, strong leadership and strong research capability collectively contribute to Forus’ potential to prevent millions of people from becoming unnecessarily blind.” stated Eric Savage, Co-Founder & President, Unitus Capital.