By: Asia Business Outlook Team | Monday, 25 December 2023
With the last week of 2023 approaching, it has been a turbulent year riddled with ups and downs. Though the year is ending, the momentum hasn't come down; this week, we shall see three startups that made their mark and made an important milestone in their journeys.
Sehat Kahani, a Pakistan-based healthtech firm, connects its consumers to a healthcare expert from over 350 places across the country in under a minute. Its co-founder, Sara Saeed Khurram, understood the value of telemedicine in healthcare after having to temporarily stop practicing medicine after the birth of her first child. This resulted in the 2017 launch of Sehat Kahani, which has offered over 2.6 million consultations to far.
Khurram founded Sehat Kahani alongside fellow doctor Iffat Zafar Aga. The startup has just raised US$2.7 million in a series A round led by Amaanah Circle, a Singapore-based healthtech fund, as per tech in asia. Epic Angels, Cross Fund, USAID Investment Promotion Activity, Augmentor, Impact Investment Exchange, and the Elahi Group were among those who took part in the round.
Individual consumers can use Sehat Kahani's B2C platform to access doctors, labs, and e-pharmacy services online on a pay-as-you-go or subscription-based basis. Sehat Kahani also runs 62 e-health clinics across the country. The company includes a B2B division that services almost 800 corporate clients. Sehat Kahani provides online doctors, outpatient department administration, and e-pharmacy services to employees and their families through their workplace or insurance company.
The firm’s business has grown over 141% year on year in the last three years, “overcoming the myth that telemedicine was only beneficial during Covid, as we have seen 5x cumulative growth in the post-Covid era,” Aga said. For the time being, the company expects to become profitable by FYE 2026 as a result of ongoing expansion.
The new funds will be used to invest in technology, hire more employees, and grow outside Pakistan into the Middle East and North Africa region.
EDP Renewables APAC
According to Alternatives.pe, EDP Renewables APAC, a Singapore-based greentech firm formerly known as Sunseap Group, has secured a US$95 million capital injection. It marks the first time the company secured additional backing since Portugal-based renewable energy major EDP Group acquired 91% of Sunseap through its subsidiary EDP Renewables (EDPR) in November 2021, as per tech in asia.
Further details on the investment are unknown, however the funding will most likely aid EDP Renewables APAC's expansion ambitions throughout Asia Pacific. EDPR announced a US$7.4 billion commitment to establish its Asia-Pacific headquarters in Singapore by 2030 in February 2022. EDPR and its regional arm wanted to engage on numerous renewable energy projects in the region at the time, including solar and wind energy sources, energy storage, and green hydrogen.
According to Wood Mackenzie, a worldwide energy research and consulting firm, investments in the Asia Pacific renewables market might exceed US$1.3 trillion by 2030. Renewables EDP APAC earns money by supplying solar energy to homes and businesses, as well as building and maintaining solar photovoltaic installations.
Fasal, an agritech firm, announced a $12 million (Rs 100 crore) investment round headed by TDK Ventures and British International Investment (BII) on Dec 22. ITI Growth Opportunities Fund, Navam Capital, and Aureolis Ventures were among the other investors in the round. Existing investors included 3one4 Capital, Omnivore, Wavemaker Partners, Genting Ventures, and The Yield Labs Asia Pacific.
The Bengaluru-headquartered startup works with horticulture farmers by providing them patented Internet-of-Things-crop intelligence technology over 75,000 acres of land. This is used for growing grapes, pomegranates, bananas, apples, chili, and cardamom, as per economic times Farmers on Fasal's network have reportedly reduced irrigation water usage by 82.8 billion litres, pesticide consumption by 127,426 kilograms, greenhouse gas emissions by 54,965 metric tons, and yields and quality by up to 30%.
“With this capital infusion, we plan to expand Fasal’s presence from 75,000 acres to 500,000 acres and enable our technology to deliver more to the farmers by providing them access to sustainable crop inputs, farm-level crop insurance, and working capital at lower interest rates,” said Shailendra Tiwari, founder, and chief executive, Fasal.
With 'Fasal Fresh,' its business-to-business marketplace that connects farmers to customers via retailers and wholesalers, Fasal said it has built capabilities to go deeper into the supply chain.
Siddharth Mehta, investment director, TDK Ventures, said, “Meeting the horticulture farmers and learning about their core problems convinced me that Fasal’s full-stack approach of combining sensors and technology with the marketplace offers a strong value proposition of improving farmer earnings and a strong sustainable impact.” TDK recently deployed funds into energy-tech startup Exponent Energy.