Bahrain-based Investcorp, a major global alternative asset manager, has closed an approximately $45 million investment in Nephrocare Health Services, a leading dialysis service provider in India.
Founded in 2010 by Vikram Vuppala and Kamal D Shah, NephroPlus today has the largest network of dialysis centres in India that is over four times larger than the second largest player, leading the industry with over 140,000 dialysis sessions per month in 196 centres across more than 115 cities.
NephroPlus is a pioneer in managing dialysis departments of hospitals via long term outsourcing contracts. Over the last five years, it has become a strategic dialysis partner of choice for almost all the top hospitals in India including Max, Medanta, FMRI and 180 other reputed hospitals across the cities it operates in. It also acquired DaVita’s India business late last year, with full integration completed earlier this year.
Earlier investors in NephroPlus include Bessemer Venture Partners and IFC (the private-sector arm of the World Bank), who will continue to stay invested alongside Investcorp, with one of the earlier investors, SeaLink Capital, exiting. The primary capital raised in this round will be utilized towards organic growth in India and taking the proven business model of NephroPlus to other markets, starting with South East Asia. NephroPlus aspires to build a regional network of dialysis centres spanning India and select countries in Asia and the GCC region.
The need for dialysis is largely unmet in India: It is estimated that only 15 per cent of over 1.2 million patients in India with kidney failure were able to access dialysis. Further, with the growing incidence of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, the government’s own estimates suggest that over 200,000 patients are added to the patient pool every year.
Gaurav Sharma, co-head of Private Equity, Investcorp India, said: “NephroPlus meets every criteria Investcorp looks for in an investment: outstanding founders supported by a solid team, impeccable clinical quality adherence and market leadership focused on providing access to high quality services at an affordable price point across a large and growing addressable market. We look forward to supporting Vikram to realize the full potential of the NephroPlus business model, both in India and abroad.”
Vikram Vuppala added: “Over the last decade, NephroPlus has refined its high quality but cost-effective model to become the most widespread health care delivery network in India. Now is the time to grow beyond India whilst also cementing our leadership position in India with continued growth momentum.
“My co-founder Kamal Shah and I are delighted to welcome Investcorp at this stage into NephroPlus. We selected them because of their strong global network in key markets where we intend to now focus, as well as their deep understanding and experience of investing in the healthcare space in India and across the globe in the US, Europe and Middle East.”
Investcorp’s investment in NephroPlus is in line with their strategy to tap into sustainable business models in the mass consumption driven Indian market. In India, Investcorp targets investment opportunities across three key sectors – healthcare, financial services and mass-market consumer. Other than NephroPlus, the Investcorp Private Equity Fund II has so far invested in six companies namely InCred, ASG, Zolo, Citykart, Intergrow Brands and Bewakoof.com. – TradeArabia News Service