Tech in Asia start-up secures USD 1million seed funding
Tech in Asia, a tech and start-up publication reported that the Sri Lankan developed app, oDoc that connects patients to doctors through video callconsultations and stores electronic health records secured USD 1 million seed funding from investors like Ajit Gunewardene, Deputy Chairman of John Keells Holdings (JKH), Phoenix Ventures Ltd., the holding company of Brandix Lanka, one of Sri Lanka’s top apparel exporters, and Lanka Orix Leasing Company. This amount is recorded as the highest seed fund for any Sri Lankan start-up.
The oDoc app is available in English, Sinhalese and Tamil and allows its users to book appointments, upload photos of illnesses, lab tests, and consult a doctor on demand through their smart phone.
Fundraising efforts for the app commenced during the beginning of 2017 and the oDoc team’s pressing requirement is to initiate product-market compatibility with the intention of charging consultation fees from patients, with oDoc receiving a percentage of the fee.
The team is also contemplating the possibility of pushing a subscription model.
“Say you wake up in the morning with a nasty rash and fever. Three taps on your smartphone and you can submit your pre-consultation notes, take a picture of your rash, and get a doctor to review those. A doctor will call you and send his prescription with the doctor’s seal and signature right to your phone. All done in 10 minutes,” read the Tech in Asia report.
Tech in Asia went on to state that despite several international start-ups offering comparable services, the 4 founders of oDoc tackled the matter from a design angle as opposed to a tech issue.
“The reason nobody has really cracked it is because they looked at it as a medical problem. They were building it as an Uber for doctors of sorts. But it is really about changing behaviour. So, it is more of a design problem. It needed a fresh set of eyes,” the founders told Tech in Asia.
ODoc’s four founders come from diverse professional and educational backgrounds, with its CEO, Heshan Fernando being the youngest Assistant Vice President of Sri Lanka’s largest listed company, John Keells Holdings (JKH).
Fellow co-founder, Inshard Naizer used to work with Fernando at JKH, and oDoc’s third co-founder, Janaka Wickremesinghe, a general physician holding three patents and the founder of Sri Lanka’s first online medical education platform, CorpusMedici which Fernando claims a third of all Sri Lankan doctors subscribes to.
ODoc’s tech head Sohan Dharmaraja has a PhD in Computational Applied Mathematics from Stanford and a Masters from MIT and used to work as an algorithmic trader with Goldman Sachs.
The start-up industry in Sri Lanka is booming and any innovative entrepreneur who wishes to explore technologically advanced and innovative ventures in the country stands to greatly benefit.
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