Thailand’s Medical Departures raises US$2.5mil Series A
By Susan Cunningham March 22, 2016
- Core countries include Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, South Korea
- Hubert Burda, CyberAgent Ventures, OPT SEA take part in DMP-led round
BANGKOK-based medical tourism portal Medical Departures has secured US$2.5 million in Series A funds. Singapore venture fund DMP led the round, with participation from Germany’s Hubert Burda Media and Japan’s CyberAgent Ventures and OPT SEA advertising agency.
The company will use the funds to expand its offerings of clinics and procedures in its eight key countries.
Medical Departures now lists the services of 5,000 doctors and dentists in 33 countries, but focuses on Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea, Vietnam, Costa Rica and Mexico.
With listings for 957 healthcare providers, many of them specialists in cosmetic procedures, Thailand accounts for the largest number. A staff of 20 is based in Thailand, while 19 employees live in the other seven countries.
Prior to the Series A funding, Paul McTaggart, the Canadian founder and chief executive officer of Medical Departures, had only raised US$300,000 in seed funding from a clinic. He piloted the concept with listings of dentists and dental services on DentalDepartures.com, first for Mexico and then for Thailand.
Beginning with Bumrungrad Hospital in the late 1990s, Thailand was a pioneer in the medical tourism industry. The online space has since become crowded with sites promoting medical and dental services to foreigners seeking cheaper, high-quality care in less developed countries.
In addition to the websites of individual hospitals and clinics, well-funded portals now promote many services in a single country (as DocDoc does for Singapore , BookDoc for Malaysia, and Practo for India) or a choice of services in many countries (such as Medigo).
McTaggart (pic), a former Microsoft engineer, says that MedicalDepartures.com differentiates itself by verifying the credentials of doctors and dentists with local health authorities, having its own staff visit each listed clinic, taking its own photographs and videos of facilities, operating a 24-hour customer service, and monitoring patients’ online reviews.
Medical Departures generates income by earning a fee from the service provider for every completed patient booking.
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