One of Australia’s fastest growing healthcare marketplaces has secured a $26.7 million Series C investment led by Sequoia India.
HealthEngine, headquartered in Perth, will use the funding to develop new products, drive market expansion, fund acquisitions and grow its team, which comprises over 100 staff.
Australian-based Alium Capital, Go Capital, Carsales.com.au founder Greg Roebuck and the founders of Lux Group, including Adam Schwab, also participated in the funding round.
“We started off with two guys in our lounge room,” HealthEngine co-founder and chief executive Dr Marcus Tan tells StartupSmart.
The latest investment brings HealthEngine’s total capital raised to nearly $50 million since it launched in 2006, he says.
According to HealthEngine, 8 million appointments have been booked on the platform from around Australia to date.
“Marketplaces tend to require a lot of money and time to get going,” Tan says.
Having opened the Series C round in October 2016, Tan says “it’s a nice validation for the team” to have secured a much larger figure than expected.
“With the money comes greater ambition and greater expectation,” he says.
With tech startups being built on the back of “smart, capable people”, Tan says HealthEngine will soon be hiring more sales, marketing, advertising and “customer success” professionals to increase brand awareness and market share.
“There’s a bit of a temptation to just spend it really quickly [but] we don’t want to do that,” he says.
“We’ll be looking at basically trying to embed all those hires [while] looking at things like acquisitions … [and] extending the product suite.”
Reflecting on the fundraising process, Tan believes it all boils down to building trust and confidence.
“[Investors] want to know that you’ve done your homework,” he says.
“From a building confidence and trust perspective, it’s knowing your team can deliver.”
In addition to this, having strong traction, an impressive growth story, decent cashflow and a good footing in the market are essential, he says.
“[You need] a good understanding of your market sizing and the way you’re going to get out to the market,” he says.
Choosing the right investor is also critical and Tan believes venture capital investors shouldn’t be the first port of call for most tech startup founders.
“VCs are a very particular type of investor that not many tech companies will suit … timing has to be absolutely perfect to fit their criteria,” says Tan.
*This article was updated on April 5, 2017.