Medigo has shut down their medical travel platform


In recent times, we’ve seen the speedy development of on-line facilitated medical journey portals the place sufferers can analysis their choices for medical tourism, discover locations and suppliers, and enquire about remedy. Angel traders and fairness companies have invested thousands and thousands of {dollars} in seed funding in these portals. However when in search of return on funding, don’t underestimate the time, advertising and marketing funding and customer support it takes to get potential sufferers to cross the road and make a reserving.

One of many first medical journey portal entrants was certainly LaingBuisson’s personal Therapy Overseas, launched seventeen years in the past, adopted by a website focussing particularly on the wants of infertile people, Fertility Therapy Overseas . Within the USA, one of many longest surviving websites is the equally structured PlacidWay. These websites proceed to draw giant numbers of holiday makers and to generate enquiries for his or her hospital and clinic shoppers. Their enterprise mannequin has endured the modifications which have taken place available in the market as they operate on an easy promoting mannequin in contrast to newer market entrants who’re reliant on an ever increasing crew of customer support personnel.

Let’s create the of medical journey

Because the adoption of on-line buying grew, some believed that it was solely a matter of time earlier than healthcare went in the identical route as client items and providers – that sufferers would go surfing, analysis an operation or remedy and e book and pay for an operation overseas on-line in the identical approach that they could e book a resort or vacation overseas. However healthcare is difficult and the choice to buy healthcare may be very completely different from planning a trip or a enterprise journey.

Among the best funded start-ups within the sector was Medigo. Launched in Berlin in 2014, Medigo listed over 200 clinics in 12 completely different international locations at launch, with the free-to-use platform out there in 4 languages. Preliminary funding of €1.9 million seed funding from Atlantic Labs and angel traders was adopted by €5m from the California-based fairness agency Accel Companions. By 2016, it had raised €10.75m in funding for launch and growth within the US, UK, Australia, China, Asia and the UAE. In its first two years, the operators claimed to have helped 20,000 sufferers from 178 international locations use a clinic or hospital overseas; that labored out at an investor value of round €5,000 a buyer.

By 2019, the numbers had climbed to 120,000 clients from 220 international locations handled in a thousand hospitals and clinics in 36 international locations. Medigo was operating places of work in Berlin, Singapore, Dubai, USA and the UK. It additionally launched a serious sickness remedy insurance coverage product, “GLOBALCOVER”, to cowl most cancers remedy, neurosurgery, coronary heart surgical procedure and organ transplants at hospitals worldwide.

Nevertheless, in 2020, Medigo determined to close down their medical journey platform and focus solely on enterprise providers. It additionally ceased to supply its main sickness remedy insurance coverage, which had not gained traction. It now focuses solely on Third Get together Administration (TPA) providers.

Why did it fail?

That is my view. It is probably not the “official reply” you would possibly get from Medigo.

Fairly merely, the enterprise mannequin didn’t work in medical journey. Because the service developed, the corporate discovered that the protracted determination time and the extent of communication between Medigo and the affected person wanted to safe a reserving required an in depth, multilingual customer support crew. Sufferers took a very long time to resolve and sometimes dropped out in the course of the course of. It’s the identical difficulty confronted by many worldwide hospitals and clinics. Numerous enquiries and expressions of curiosity however it takes an excessive amount of effort to get the shopper throughout the road. Managing the affected person circulate as soon as they’re booked in is the simple half. Attending to that time requires advertising and marketing funding, expensive workers and intensive assets.

Finally, traders need a return on funding. A typical spend on remedy by a medical vacationer in Europe may be €3,000 to €5,000. If because the portal operator, you’re taking a proportion of that spend, let’s say 10% to fifteen%, that doesn’t depart a lot to cowl the workers and assets that you’ve got expended in changing an enquiry right into a reserving and delivering a revenue.

Cash continues to be invested

Nonetheless, the idea of on-line reserving for medical journey continues to be pursued elsewhere. Well being care tech start-ups are mushrooming in India. Credihealth gives comparisons between docs, hospitals and remedy packages. With launch funding of US$1.5 million from Tolaram Inc, it’s seeking to increase one other US$20 million. Bangalore-based Practo raised US$4m in 2012 and has since closed six rounds, most lately US$32m Sequence D in August.

Launched in 2015 in Germany, Qunomedical, raised US$2 million from Challenge A Ventures, 500 Startups and Kima Ventures. The corporate claims to deal with over 4,000 sufferers per thirty days and companions with internationally licensed clinics in 25 international locations.

New York primarily based VoyagerMed raised US$200,000 and an extra undisclosed quantity from StartUp Well being to assist launch the company purchaser model of its profitable on-line market for particular person medical tourism showcasing US docs.

An unsure future

The demise of Medigo’s operation as a medical journey portal, regardless of important funding, will increase considerations for any enterprise or investor aiming to emulate their mannequin. Covid-19 could nicely drive development in medical journey as a result of pent-up demand for remedy that has resulted from home hospital assets being diverted to deal with Covid-19 sufferers. We’ve seen an enormous transfer into telehealth and telemedicine because of Covid-19. Whether or not this can be mirrored in affected person willingness to undertake on-line reserving for medical journey stays to be seen.


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