Healthcare-focused tech startup iKure raises angel funding
Kolkata-based startup iKure Techsoft Pvt Ltd, which is into tech solutions for delivery of healthcare services in rural areas, has received an undisclosed amount in angel funding through the Intellecap Impact Investment Network (I-cube-N).
The investment has been made by the mentors and investors of the network â€“ Jayesh Parekh (co-founder of Sony Entertainment Television) and Nandan Maluste (president of CSO Partners).
The funds will be used to set up rural health centres (RHCs) across rural West Bengal over the next 3-4 months, according to Intellecap.
Incubated at IIT-Kharagpur, iKure's patent-pending software platform called WHIMS (wireless health incident monitoring system) aims to bring medical facilities to rural India. WHIMS is loaded on a computer/laptop and is made available to rural people on-field. Medical equipment is then interfaced with the software and related patient data are transferred in real time to a hospital/formal clinic-based doctor to advise and monitor the patient.
Founded in 2009 by three ex-Oracle professionals, iKure works in the area of affordable and effective healthcare at the grassroots. The company sets up RHCs that are equipped with full-time MBBS doctors, pharmacists and health officers who record all centre activities.
Commenting on the funding, Jayesh Parekh said, "The iKure model addresses critical flaws in rural healthcare such as lack of accessibility, trained staff and quality control. Once the company chisels down the commercials for a few centres, these can be replicated to provide essential care to millions across India."
iKure founder and CEO Sujay Santra said, "Centralised monitoring will be crucial to maintain quality as we set up more health centres with the backing of I-cube-N angels. Their strategic input and vast network will help us create important partnerships."
iKure currently runs more than 20 RHCs across West Bengal and Orissa, and has provided consultation to 150,000-plus patients.
"iKure works in collaboration with communities and through free health camps. It also conducts health officer training programmes to increase awareness and participation. This leads to several other benefits such as livelihood generation," added Nandan Maluste. As part of the deal, Maluste will be joining the company's board.
I-cube-N sources, screens and provides extensive consultation to make enterprises investment-ready before showcasing them to its 30-plus members. It is currently working on eight active deals across six sectors. It has individuals and institutional investors on board, looking to mentor and invest into young, for-profit social enterprises.
Commenting on the deal, I-cube-N head, Aditi Shrivastava, said, "We have worked closely with iKure to articulate its business plan and find the right investors. We believe that its model has a strong potential to deliver quality care to the last mile and look forward to helping it scale further."
I-cube-N also helps enterprises who often need small funding at the early stage of growth and find it difficult to raise that kind of money from most institutional funds due to high transaction costs and risk perceptions.
In September 2011, Intellecap, with support from International Finance Corporation under the G-20 SME Challenge Awards, launched I-cube-N to fill these gaps. I-cube-N was established to build a strong community of experienced angel investors who can provide equity capital of up to $1 million in very early-stage companies.
(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)