Binay, 28, who recently got married, has been facing problems in bed, right from the wedding night. The fact that they haven’t been able to consummate their marriage has been affecting his marriage.
Twenty-year-old Adhikar is hooked to live sex chat and porn sites. He is unable to sleep without watching porn.
Both are seeking help on Cupidcare.
The website gives room for various such queries, posed to doctors and specialists.
According to a research, one in every five individuals suffers from sexual health concerns. Most males—as many as 75 percent—are reluctant to talk to their doctors about sexual problems. It is a staggering number and demands immediate concern.
Sriram Varma and Krishna Teja, colleagues at a Bay Area-based healthcare management consulting firm, realised that while there are many online platforms offering various kinds of healthcare solutions, there’s no platform dedicated to sexual health concerns.
Since October last year, after meeting sexologists, gynaecologists and psychologists to understand the need for an online platform. The team realized 70% of cases can be dealt online.
In April 2016, they launched Cupidcare, a sexual health startup enabling customers to remotely interact with verified sexual health experts and also book diagnostics anonymously.
“We have tried to offer solutions in the area of healthcare where people are hesitant to open up,” says Sriram, 26.
He adds that through this platform, people from all walks of life and age groups have been able to address their sexual health concerns. “We are glad that in 3 months of our operations we are able to touch the lives of students, IT professionals, Working women, LGBTQs to 60Yr old gentlemen. Our user concerns range from Psychosexual disorders, irregular periods to unwanted pregnancies.”
The Hyderabad-based platform provides text, audio and video-based consulting. There are 20 providers, including doctors and counsellors, sexologists, psychologists, andrologists, psychiatrists and gynaecologists, available on the platform.
The platform offers three kinds of services – users can ask questions, privately consult doctors and enjoy diagnostic facilities. Users can get their questions answered from specialists through online and also take discreet diagnostic tests , where blood samples, urine samples are picked up from the customer’s place of comfort.
Asking questions is free of cost, in which case the platform offers preliminary answers from the specialists. on queries. The second service is private consultation where the patient can seek both online and personal appointment with a doctor or health expert.
The diagnostic services, which are available in Hyderabad only, are chargeable. Currently, they offer diagnostic services such as STD tests and sexual potency tests in Hyderabad.
Sriram says that for online consultation, the service is available across the country. However, for personal appointments, the service is available in Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, and Kolkata.
Till now, the duo has pumped in Rs 10 lakh into the platform. They have invested the money in technology, marketing and customer acquisition.
The platform follows a revenue sharing model with doctors and diagnostic centres.
According to Sriram, the platform is witnessing around 40 percent month-on-month growth and has served around 600 cases online, of which 30 percent are international patients from US, Europe, South East Asia and Africa.
By the end of the year, Cupidcare plans to on-board more than 50 experts on the platform and reach out to almost all Tier-I cities. It is also looking forward to partnering with schools to offer sex education to children.
“Today, our focus is to reach out to as many cities as possible. To achieve this expansion plan, we need more funds. We are in talks with some investors and will soon be able to raise funding,” says Sriram.
Is Cupidcare alone?
The healthcare sector was estimated to be worth $75 billion during 2012-13 and is projected to reach $280 billion by 2020, according to a report released by India Brand Equity.
In a market of so much potential, Practo is another similar platform that covers the entire gamut of doctors for appointments. Tencent-backed Practo is among the leading players in this space, having acquired multiple startups such as Fitho, Genii and Qikwell. Practo has also entered the online medicine ordering segment.
Portea is another established player in this sector. Early this year, it acquired a majority stake in PSTakeCare.
Lybrate is yet another platform that helps patients communicate with a network of doctors through a mobile app or online. Last year, it secured $10.2 million in Series A funding from Tiger Global Management, Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, and existing investor Nexus Venture Partners.
These platforms offer complete appointment services to patients. Apart from these, new platforms are also coming up to create a niche for themselves in the segment.