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Daily Updates: Praava Health Raises New Investment, Praava Health 101

Praava Health, a Dhaka-based healthcare startup that combines telemedicine with physical clinics, announced today that it has raised a Series A Prime round that brings its total investment to $10.6 million, reports TechCrunch.

The backers: The round is backed by an excellent list of prominent angel investors that includes retired United States Army General David H. Petraeus, chairman of the KKR Global Institute and former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, who also invested in Praava’s seed round; Wellville executive founder Esther Dyson, SBK Tech Ventures, Dr. Jeremy Lim, advisor of digital health to Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology, and Research; Dr. Rushika Fernandopoulle, co-founder and CEO of Iora Health; and Geoff Price, co-founder, and chief operating officer of Oak Street Health.

The plan: With the new investment, Praava plans to open 10 more healthcare centers in Dhaka, and eventually expand outside Dhaka into Chittagong and other major cities, TechCrunch report says. The company also plans to up its digital healthcare play and build a super app bringing all of its digital services into one mobile app.

Praava Health 101

What is Praava Health? Praava Health is a healthcare startup that describes itself as “a network of Family Health Centers” and provides family doctors and diagnostics services in Dhaka. Praava Health offers healthcare services including virtual consultations, a full range of diagnostic services including laboratory and imaging as well as procedures and health plans. About 40% of Praava’s services include telemedicine and an online pharmacy. Praava has a fully integrated hospital information system that allows the company better manage the medical records of patients, which patients can access anytime from anywhere using the Praava mobile app. Once you are registered with Praava, you can connect your app with your Praava registration number and access your records online from anywhere. You can also make appointments and communicate with Praava using the app.

  • Like regular clinics, patients can visit Praava Health center, see doctors and pay per visit.
  • The company has adopted a pricing strategy that is in between Bangladesh’s public healthcare system and private hospitals which are more expensive.
  • Founded in 2018, Praava Health has developed a strong telemedicine operation over the past years and now combines telehealth with its physical clinics. Praava's digital consultation service has seen excellent growth amid the coronavirus pandemic. Praava Health was the first government-approved private lab to offer COVID-19 testing.  In 2020, it processed 75,000 COVID-19 tests in-house.

Services and operations: Praava Health started its full-fledged operation in Dhaka with one healthcare center in Banani in 2018. Since then Praava Health has established six labs for 250+ tests and has built Bangladesh’s first molecular cancer diagnostics lab. Now it has 40 collection points throughout Dhaka city. More than 50 doctors are working with Praava Health serving some 150,000 patients. 

Praava also offers a membership service and has a home care service where doctors and nurses visit patients at home.

With the excellent growth of its digital healthcare services vertical, almost 90% of Praava's consultation service was virtual at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the company now calling its model: “Brick-and-Click”.

Go deeper: We have previously interviewed Praava Health Founder Sylvana Q. Sinha on two occasions and reported several strategic developments at Praava. Read the full coverage here.

Healthcare sees increased attention: As many as three Bangladeshi healthcare companies publicly reported new funding events over the past few months indicating a growing interest in healthcare startups post coronavirus pandemic.

Tithi Chowdhury is an undergraduate student majoring in Botany at the University of Dhaka. She is a Trainee Analyst at Future Startup and looks after our Collective Knowledge initiative where she prepares interviews and writes articles on interesting topics. She is a voracious reader and loves listening to podcasts in her spare time.

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