Singapore Boosts VC Funds, Accel Injects $37.5M In Indian Healthcare, YY CTO Gets China Capital for US Startup
Accel Leads $37.5M Investment In Indian Home Healthcare
Accel Partners has led a $37.5 million Series B round for home healthcare startup Portea Medical, with participating investors International Finance Corporation (IFC), Qualcomm Ventures and Ventureast. Portea had previously received $9 million in Series A funding from Accel, Ventureast and Qualcomm in December 2013.
Healthcare is one of the last sectors to be disrupted by technology in India, and the home medical service industry presents massive opportunities.
Claiming to be India’s leading home healthcare provider, Portea provide affordable and quality home care for primarily elderly patients, operating in 24 cities, partnering with over 40 hospitals, and handling 60,000 home visits monthly. The company has built a tech platform to help providers share information, keep patient records and access diagnostic tools. Patients can access records and book appointments through its consumer app.
Portea plans to use the new funding to improve its technology and provide more healthcare services for specific diseases. The startup also plans to expand and strengthen its services in India (concentrating on tier II and III cities) and in Southeast Asia, and to increase employee count from 3,000 to 8,000 over the next 18 months.
India’s aging population has led to a shortage of geriatric services at traditional healthcare outlets such as hospitals and nursing homes. This latest investment represents a strategic step towards improving access to quality healthcare in Asia’s highly populated emerging markets.
Singapore Aims to Jumpstart VC Funding with Latest $28.3 Million Initiative
Aiming to jumpstart Singapore as an innovation hub, the local government has set aside $28.3 million for the third installment of its Early Stage Venture Fund (ESVF), run by the National Research Foundation. In shift from prior efforts, the money will seed local venture capital funds investing in domestic startups, matching funding from large VCs on a 1:1 basis.
Such VC firms as Walden International, Golden Gate Ventures, Jungle Ventures, Bioveda Capital, New Asia Investments have received funds from Singaporean government coffers. Successful portfolio companies that resulted were YFind Technologies, bought by Ruckus Wireless in 2013, and HungryGoWhere, acquired by SingTel for $8.5M in 2012.
The new fund is meant to incentivize investments by local private-sector players, and help startups leverage the organizational resources of their corporate partners to commercialize — and importantly, to go global. Startups will be able to tap into larger firms’ resources and networks.
Local companies are being invited to apply for the funds starting in October, with selections announced by March 2016. Proposals must meet a “Future Cities” theme, with technology developments to improve water, mobility and national security.
Bevy Of China VC Funds Invest $20M In B2B Startup in US
Agora Lab Inc., a B2B communications-as-a-service provider, has raised a $20 million Series B round of funding from investors including Morningside Technologies, SIG, GGV Capital, Shunwei Capital Partners and IDG Capital Partners.
The round is significant for its roster of prominent Chinese VCs backing a social startup based in the U.S. As Chinese tech companies continue to go global, this may be a harbinger of increased cross-border ambitions. Tony Zhao, former CTO of Chinese social networking platform YY, which went public in the U.S. in 2012, founded Agora in 2014 and has based the startup in Palo Alto.
Agora’s flagship cloud technology product, Web Real-Time Communication, enables mobile and web users to make voice calls and video chats, and to share screens and exchange files. This powers quality communications across devices and varying network conditions. The startup claims that its technology can support up to 2,000 users in a single call. Target clients are companies in financial services, education, human resources, customer services, and social media.
This latest fundraising round for a total of $25.9 million to date, represents Agora’s emergence from stealth. Funds will be used to expand global infrastructure and sales and marketing initiatives.