Healthcare startup, eBeeCare to expand into India and China in 2017

Wed Dec 21, 2016 - 5:35am UTC

Healthcare startup, eBeeCare to expand into India and China in 2017

eBeeCare is a local startup that links freelance nurses and caregivers with patients through providing an online platform which simplifies the search for homecare services such as elderly care and physiotherapy.

Based in Singapore, the startup is looking to expand into the Asian markets in 2017 – placing at least 50 qualified caregivers to provide similar services in Pune, a city in China, by March next year.

“The startup aims to have around 1000 freelance caregivers in India and at least 50 full-time employees to meet additional demands.” said John Chen, the co-founder and chief executive officer of eBeeCare.

Founded in 2014, eBeeCare uses sophisticated algorithms to crawl through a user’s requirement along with the particulars of registered healthcare providers to select the most suitable care provider for each client.

Prior to this, the startup has raised capital in an undisclosed amount from Govin Capital and a US$ 35,000 grant from the SPRING Singapore and the Ministry of Social and Family Development.

With the funds raised, eBeeCare can proceed its expansion plan to the market for homecare service in the second most populous country. The startup is also looking to collaborate with hospitals to manage their nurse platforms as to better utilize resources.

“Startup needs to move fast, and we want to see the business up and running in India early next year,” said Chen. “We can move into India faster as there are fewer restrictions, and it is easier to get the government’s approval.”

However, at the same time, the startup stress that it is important to maintain strict quality control on the caregivers in India through screenings and interviews.

In Singapore, nurses who wish to join eBeeCare must be registered with the Singapore Nursing Board, have at least two years of hospital experience and undergo a face-to-face interview.

One of the potential challenges that the startup will face operating overseas is the varying demands of patients in different countries, from cultural, language or infrastructure differences.

“We adjust our services based on needs. I’m sure there are some services in normal demand in Singapore but will be high demand in India, or vice versa,” said Haluk Tanik, the co-founder and COO of eBeeCare.

Aside from India, eBeeCare is also eyeing the Chinese market, planning to begin with the province of Guangdong as due to its position as a financial hub. However, capital alone is insufficient in cracking the Chinese market.

“Doing business in China is not about the money you have,” explains Chen. “What’s more important is connections and the resources that you have.”

eBeeCare is currently in talks with a few investors in China, including Shanghai Kindly Enterprise Development Group (KDL), one of the biggest medical polymer product manufacturers in China.

Back in Singapore, the startup will also roll out expansion plans next year.

While John Chen envisions eBeeCare to be the main provider of homecare in Asian countries, in the long run, he is also maintaining a cautiously optimistic outlook.

“I’m still 50-50 on whether eBeeCare will be able to be a regional or even global service provider, but at least we have the data, we know what people want, and the best form of care services they enjoy. This, in the long run, will really be a gold mine.” the founder of eBeeCare said.

By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media

This news is published on Reuters.