Local language health info provider myUpchar raises $5 mn in Series-A funds

Delhi-headquartered myUpchar, which provides health information in Indian languages, has raised a Series-A round of $5 million from Nexus Venture Partners, Omidyar Network and Shunwei Capital, the company said in a statement. myUpchar, which is trying to increase healthcare awareness across the socio-economic spectrum in India, is already accessed by more than 10 million people. With the funding, it hopes to enrich its product and technology by strengthening of voice, video and virtual reality interfaces, along with the development of newer interfaces that will make large-scale remote provision of health services a reality. 

myUpchar is looking to serve 500 million aspirational Indians who want quality information and services but are unable to access them either because they are not available locally or are not available in local languages. 

myUpchar has partnered with doctors to create credible and authoritative health content in 13 Indian languages across various disciplines such as Allopathy, Ayurveda and Homoeopathy. myUpchar's proprietary voice search, as well as text to speech technology for all health content, has enabled it to serve customers who are not yet comfortable with typing or reading this content on a phone. It also has hundreds of partner doctors across specialities who serve several thousand patient queries every day. These consultations are conducted in a simple interface to make sure the consulting product is accessible to customers with any level of comfort with technology.  

Rajat Garg, co-founder & CEO, myUpchar, says, "We have a unique opportunity to solve the acute awareness and access problem in the healthcare space. Our focus over the next couple of years is to address this gap via technology and content. myUpchar platform will become the one-stop solution for every Indian seeking healthcare information and services in Indian languages. As our technology gets smarter and smarter, we will personalise every user's experience to enhance our ability to have a real impact on their health outcomes."

myUpchar was founded by Rajat Garg and Manuj Garg who met a decade ago at Stanford University. After Stanford, Manuj worked at BCG where he did a long stint at The Gates Foundation, while Rajat worked at Amazon before starting his entrepreneurial journey. Rajat realised the lack of Indian health content while running his previous start-up and reconnected with Manuj to do a deep dive. They quickly realised that demand for such content and services are huge as quacks and misinformation spread by them is a major issue in India.  

Sameer Brij Verma, managing director, Nexus Venture Partners, says, "We are truly excited to partner with Rajat and Manuj on their mission to build the definitive healthcare access gateway for the Bharat market which has its own unique healthcare challenges. The team has done an exceptional job in building market leadership across the Hindi belt and now plans to scale their content and integrated consultation platform to several other regional languages."

Siddharth Nautiyal, investment partner, Omidyar Network, adds, "We are excited by myUpchar's vision to become India's largest credible and relatable health destination platform and facilitate low-cost healthcare access to cater to the needs of new wave of first-time smartphone users engaging via local language content, a population often referred to as the 'Next Half Billion'. myUpchar has the potential to solve the health information and infrastructure asymmetry for the masses, closely aligned with the government's National Health Protection Mission."

Tuck Lye Foh, CEO and founding partner, Shunwei Capital, says, "Shunwei sees great opportunities in the vernacular language content sector in India. We are excited to witness that myUpchar has done a great job in serving health-related content in regional languages to the mass market. We strongly believe that Rajat and Manuj will continue their success to build myUpchar into the default destination for the healthcare needs of 500 million vernacular users."  

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