While technology has touched segments like commerce, education, essential services (cabs, grocery, handymen services) in a big way in urban India, healthcare seems to be one of the last sectors to get disrupted by it. However, things are changing in a rapid pace as startups like Practo, Protea, Lyberate and a slew of recently-founded ventures are upgrading the traditional processes in healthcare with technology.
One such startup is Gurgaon-based Labstreet, which helps consumers get blood tests done conveniently from reliable labs at an affordable cost. The idea is to bring about transparency and convenience in the diagnostics market. The brainchild of IIT-Delhi alumni Lalit Mittal and Ujjwal Chaudhry, Labstreet essentially aggregates demand for customers for pathology tests.
Genesis of Labstreet
One of the duo’s friends needed to get lab tests done every month as she was diabetic. “Most times she had to check with different labs on the availability of the collection person, but still they were never on time and she had to wait in fasting mode,” says Ujjwal. This made them realise that while most labs understand the testing or the clinical part of the tests, the services provided were mostly not up to the mark. “We ensure that customers get better service and we don't charge them for the home collection,” she adds.
Differentiators and growth pattern
Unlike others in the space, Labstreet provides entire test menu and is not focussed on just preventive space. It claims to be a single-point solution for the customer from test requirement gathering to the point when the report is dispatched to the customer.
The company claims to have had 25 per cent growth on a weekly basis for the last three months. It is currently processing close to 150 requests everyday and will hit the 200th mark in the next three weeks. At present, it’s operational in Delhi (NCR), Bengaluru and Pune.
Funding and size of opportunity
Labstreet also raised Rs one crore funding from multiple investors including Chandigarh-based Click Labs. “We will use raised capital in sprucing up technology, expansion and hiring key people to accelerate our growth,” says Ujjwal. The company is looking to expand into top 10 cities by end of this year and hire over 100 employees in the next five months.
According to a rough estimate, diagnostics is a USD four-billion opportunity in India and it’s growing with 27.5 per cent CAGR while the overall healthcare is growing by 15 per cent.
As we pointed out earlier, healthcare has not embraced technology as much as other sectors. A lot of people are showing interest in this space largely due to the macro-factors. Indian diagnostic industry is undergoing a structural change as the current capacity utilisations are really low and the industry is highly fragmented. So this industry is ripe for disruption.
Over the past couple of years, a host of startups have emerged to bring pathology services at the doorstep. Labstreet competes with Ziffi, Doctor C, Healthians, Mediangels and a few others. Mediangels is raising USD five million to accelerate its growth while Healthians secured seed round from Yuvraj Singh and others.
Digital healthcare has hit the inflection point in India and this year we witnessed VCs leading large rounds including USD 90 million in Practo from Tencent and USD 37.5 million in primary healthcare platform Protea. It would be exciting to watch how these startups are transforming the healthcare distribution process in India over the next couple of years.