Indonesian health info startup Alodokter raises US$2.5mil Series A
By Masyitha Baziad August 5, 2016
- Round led by Golden Gate Ventures, with 500 Startups taking part
- Funds to be used to improve app, and for SEA expansion … but shhh
JAKARTA-based health information website Alodokter said it has closed its Series A funding in a round led by Singapore-based Golden Gate Ventures, with participation from 500 Startups and Singaporean angel investor Lim Dershing.
This is Alodokter’s second funding following its seed funding in April 2015, for an undisclosed amount led by Fenox VC.
Golden Gate Ventures, 500 Startups and Lim were also investors in its seed round, the company said in a statement.
Founded in July 2014, Alodokter claims to have grown its user base by 700% since its seed round, from one million to eight million monthly users. Its website hosts thousands of articles about health, well-being and family, and over 100,000 patient questions answered by its panel of doctors.
“Health information reliability is in the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) of the company,” said founder and chief executive officer Nathanael Faibis (pic above).
“This is the team’s main focus. Over the last two years, we have built a strong image of medical expertise among patients and health professionals in Indonesia.
“We think that this is the primary reason for the strong growth we have experienced so far,” he said in an official statement.
Faibis told Digital News Asia (DNA) that he came to Indonesia in 2012, while working for e-commerce company Lazada, and founded Alodokter because he wanted to provide accurate and reliable information about health to Indonesians, in Bahasa Indonesia.
“When you fall sick, you cannot find any website like MayoClinic or WebMD in Indonesia,” he said.
“It was very hard, and many people I met at that time were saying the same thing: They could not find any reliable source of healthcare information in Bahasa,” he told DNA via email.
Alodokter has 60 people in its team currently (pic below), including a doctor who scrutinises every article it publishes. It also has a panel of 70 doctors to answer questions on the website as well as via the chat feature in its mobile app, launched in March.
While the website Q&A tends to be more general, “the conversation between readers and doctors is more personal and targeted on our app,” Faibis told DNA. “Doctors can provide more specific answers depending on the symptoms.”
Currently, 45% of Alodokter’s audience are women aged 20 to 35 – typically young mothers, he said – from Jakarta, Medan, and Surabaya.
Faibis said he was confident that the need for such information will keep increasing as Indonesians are becoming more health-conscious.
“The business model has always been about providing information, because that is what we are good at – we have a good reputation, so we will always be the point of entry in the healthcare industry,” he declared.
As part of its investment, Golden Gate Ventures founding partner Jeffrey Paine (pic) will be joining Alodokter’s board of directors.
“We are pleased to be joining Nathanael and the rest of his team in their journey to create the leading health information portal in South-East Asia.
“More and more people in the region are consuming and relying on digital content and services, and it’s become a fundamental part of commerce, communication, and entertainment.
“Now thanks to Nathanael [Faibis] and his team, consumers can rely on Alodokter to better manage their health,” he said in the statement issued by Alodokter.
The Jakarta startup said it will use the funds to enhance its app with additional features and to also expand to other South-East Asian countries, although it did not go into details.
“Our commitment is to keep the mobile app and chat for free,” Faibis told DNA, declining to name the South-East Asian countries his company is targeting but adding that the expansion would begin this year.
It won’t be looking to expanding geographically in Indonesia, but will instead focus on “building great content,” he added.
When asked whether Alodokter would consider a premium chat service or going into e-commerce to monetise, he said that is not on the drawing board for now.
However, the company will continue to collect data on customer behaviour over the next six months to determine whether it should launch a premium service.
“At the end of the day, with the new investment round and the expansion plan we have, we want to see our user base grow significantly,” Faibis said, without revealing any target number.
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