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Medical Departures raises $2.5m to be an Airbnb for medical tourism

03/23/2016| 1:42:01 PM|

Medical Airbnb startup Medical Departures has raised a series A funding round worth US$2.5 million, led by Singapore-based venture capital firm Digital Media Partners (DMP).

Medical Departures has raised a series A funding round worth US$2.5 million, the company announced on Tuesday. The round was led by Singapore-based venture capital firm Digital Media Partners (DMP), and was joined by VC CyberAgent Ventures, European media firm Hubert Burda Media, and OPT SEA, the Southeast Asia arm of Japanese digital advertising agency OPT Group.

The Bangkok-based Medical Departures is an Airbnb for medical tourism where travelers are patients and their hosts are qualified medical professionals. Its promise is access to affordable and quality healthcare for patients who want to travel abroad to find it. The startup connects patients to doctors of various specializations in markets including Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, South Korea, Indonesia, Mexico, and Costa Rica – all of them top destinations for medical tourism.

The reasons these are considered attractive destinations, according to medical tourism website Patients Beyond Borders, include government and private sector investment in healthcare infrastructure, excellent tourism infrastructure, successful adoption of best practices and state-of-the-art medical technology, and potential for cost savings on medical procedures.

The website estimates the market size for medical tourism at about US$38.5 to 55 billion. It says the market is growing at an annual rate of 15 to 25 percent, with Asia leading the charge in that growth.

Medical Departures claims to offer more than 5,000 doctors and dentists through its two websites, Medical Departures and Dental Departures. It is said that the startup is growing in triple digits year-over-year in terms of doctors, users, and revenue, although specific figures are still not available.

The startup faces competition from services connecting patients to doctors both domestically and abroad, like Singapore’s DocDoc, which raised US$8.5 million in series A funding last year, and Malaysia’s BookDoc.

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TAGS: medical tourism | Asia | investments
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