Mumbai, Jun 13 IBNS | 5 months ago

International financial institution encouraging private sector development, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), recently invested USD 7 million in dialysis and kidney care provider NephroPlus, to expand access to high quality kidney care services in India.

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, aims to reach over 8,000 patients and help create 1,000 skilled health services jobs in the next five years, while almost a third of these will be for women.

Accordimg to the officials, this is IFC's first healthcare venture capital investment in South Asia, and also the first from IFC's USD 250 million 'Early Stage Investment Program'.

The investment will be used by NephroPlus to expand its network of dialysis centers in India.

NephroPlus already operates 26 dialysis centers across ten states in India, the officials informed.

Besides IFC, existing investor, Bessemer Venture Partners, has invested an additional USD 3 million in NephroPlus.

"IFC is a long-term partner for NephroPlus with significant healthcare expertise and a broad network of healthcare clients across emerging markets," said Vikram Vuppala, Founder and CEO, NephroPlus.

"The investment will enable NephroPlus to leverage IFC's global healthcare knowledge and industry relationships with a view to expand NephroPlus' quality dialysis care model in India," Vuppala said.

According to NephroPlus, India remains a highly under-served market for dialysis services.

An estimated one million people in India are required to undergo dialysis sessions thrice a week. However, almost nine out of ten people who need dialysis do not have access to it, and it is clinically and financially difficult for hospitals to provide this service, the officials said.

"Providing high quality dialysis care in a highly underserved market not only improves quality of life for chronic kidney care patients, but also creates skilled healthcare jobs and boosts growth," said Pravan Malhotra, Venture Capital Lead for South Asia at IFC.

"High quality dialysis providers with a commitment to operational excellence need to scale up to meet India's enormous healthcare needs. We are helping NephroPlus do that," Malhotra said.

The officials further noted that IFC is the world's largest multilateral investor in the private health care sector in emerging markets, with financing of over USD 2.2 billion to 164 private health care and life sciences projects in 53 countries.

(Posted on 13-06-2014)

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