Health content startup myUpchar secures Rs 2 crore to improve access to health care
Delhi-based startup myUpchar has secured Rs 2 crore in funding, adding to a recent string of funding for health content startups within India.
myUpchar — meaning “my remedy” or “self-treatment” in English — provides its users with a wide range of content on topics including home remedies, ayurveda, health, fitness, and obesity, among many others. The goal of the platform is to spread awareness and access to information to tier-2 and 3 cities in a variety of vernacular languages.
Health content startups like myUpchar have been gaining traction lately within the country, trying to take advantage of the Rs 10.5 trillion health care market that is expected to grow to over Rs 18 trillion by 2020. Sepalika, for example, raised Rs 4.8 crore in April, Omnicuris raised Rs 1 crore announced in June, and Medinfi raised Rs 8 million in August.
This, however, comes as part of a larger trend of startups trying to tackle some of the health problems within India. In a recent post by Forbes titled “How Startups Are Trying To Overcome India’s Healthcare Challenges,” a number of these health issues are presented, which include: low government funding, concentration of expertise in urban areas, poor health infrastructure, and low levels of health insurance.
Additionally, the funding of health content startups specifically comes as a supplement to the nature of health care within the country. According to the same post by Forbes, “As home remedies are a part and parcel of life in India, they are often preferred over immediate doctor consultations and almost every household has someone to offer healthcare advice. However, the authenticity of information offered is often debatable.”
Accordingly, many startups — myUpchar in particular — have aimed to take on the dissemination of accurate health care information to the country’s 1.3 billion population, and so far the idea has shown extreme promise.
A key feature that has enabled the initial success of the company is its offering of content in multiple vernacular Indic languages. Founder of myUpchar Rajat Garg explained, “[Before myUpchar] I was running an e-commerce venture, Shimply. We were into selling handicrafts and indigenous products. When we launched the Hindi version of the website, Ayurveda suddenly became 50 percent of the business.”
This is ultimately what sparked the idea for this most recent venture, and is exactly why the company will use the new funding to expand content in six other languages besides Hindi.
Rajat also wrote, “Quality healthcare content is virtually absent in vernacular languages. We launched MyUpchar in December 2016 and in just nine months, our traffic has grown to 2.5 million visits/month (run rate), showing the strong need for such content.”
As such, the company intends for its technology to help overcome some of the difficult obstacles that present themselves with regard to health care in India. The company’s most recent funding shows that investors have recognized both the importance of startups like myUpchar, as well as the potential behind them.