Medigo, a Berlin-based medical travel startup, has raised $6.2 million (5 million euros) from Accel Partners. The company announced the funding at the same time as its US and UK launch, and will use the money to expand into additional markets. The company previously raised $2.4 million from Atlantic Internet and other angel investors, so this raise brings their total funding just shy of $9 million.
In many ways, Medigo is like other hospital price and quality transparency engines, a business that's becoming increasingly popular. But Medigo allows patients to compare prices of hospitals all around the world, to promote "medical tourism," the increasingly common phenomenon of people traveling to other countries for lower-cost or higher-quality procedures.
"Many patients travel out of the United States, Australia, and United Kingdom and are able to save up to 80 percent on the costs of the medical treatment,” Ugur Samut, Medigo CEO, said in a statement. “For example, patients traveling out of the US save more than $40,000 for a hip replacement and patients from the UK save £12,000 for dental implants.”
Medigo currently works with 400 hospitals, accredited through the Joint Commission International (JCI). Users can search Medigo's site by procedure and see the price, experience level of the physician, and photos of the facility. There's no fee for the search or for booking treatment through Medigo. Instead, the site makes money by charging doctors a small fee for each patient they receive through the service. The company also gets assurances from facilities that they charge the same via Medigo as they do for other patients.
“Medigo was built to ensure that patients have better oversight into quality of medical care, so that they can trust the doctor and hospital they choose is of highest possible standards," co-founder and CPO Ieva Soblickaite said in a statement.
Mobile technology and global connectivity are increasingly transforming healthcare into a global business. Just last month, RingMD, a Singapore-based telemedicine company, launched its services, allowing patients to connect to doctors all over the world virtually. Medigo takes that same idea to the next level, using software to enable a non-virtual medical tourism business that it estimates already pulled in 7 million patients last year.