Kanchufang.com, an Internet Health platform, has received an undisclosed million-dollar level investment from Lightspeed China Partners. The core service of Kanchufang.com is a user-generated database that stores information and medical case records on an anonymous basis (accessible both through Kanchufang’s official website and WeChat).
Such a database enables users to search among thousands of similar medical case reports for possible cures, particularly in the case of rare diseases where regular medical check-ups fail to diagnose. Kanchufang also positions itself as a mutual support community where users share and communicate with other patients and medical professionals. Although not targeting medical or academic institutions specifically, Kanchufang will also allow users to build up their own medical record systems.
The Kanchufang team is also reportedly developing an app that enables a direct patient-doctor communication process. Martin Shen, the CEO and Co-founder of Kanchufang indicated that they hope to expand the clinic experience to a new level by establishing an efficient communication channel between patients, doctors and Kanchufang. If successful, there is a clear value proposition for the parties involved; the patients receive cost-effective medical advice and doctors are rightly compensated for their contributions.
The Kanchufang team members hold experienced in medical and healthcare, as well as other tech-related industries. Martin Shen, who graduated with two medical degrees, has over 15 years of experience including clinic & hospital management and hospital information systems. The Chief Product Officer, Xu Lin, comes from a tech background with 11 years of experience at Tencent, creating projects such as ‘QQ Show’, ‘QQ Farm’ and ‘QQ Open Source Platform’. The Chief Technical Officer, Wang Yuan, has 7 years of IT experience, 3 of which were spent working in medical information and internet industries.
While it may not sound as flashy as social media (WeChat or Momo) or E-commerce (Alibaba or JD), medical technology is definitely a blooming industry that continuously attracts worldwide attention. The drive behind startups and investors, besides the promise of enormous payouts, is to help relieve pressure on both poorly financed hospitals, and in regions where healthcare industry is heavily and bureaucratically regulated.
Although most of the Chinese healthcare startups are not directly contributing to the advancement of medical treatment facilities and disease prevention, they cover areas where less medical expertise involvement is required, for example: making appointments (Haodf.com), medical charts system (Xingshulin), or simply a platform (Kanchufang, Chun Yu Doctor) that offers prompt and reliable sources to share and communicate information with other users and professionals. These websites and apps are gaining a significant following in China.
The idea of building up a platform like Kanchufang originated from the shared personal experience of the 3 Kanchufang team members. After a family member was diagnosed with Cancer, Martin Shen realized how surprisingly difficult it was to locate useful information from a trustworthy source to help identify the issues and a possible cure. With this question in mind, Martin now hopes to build an efficient platform that provides reliable feedback and solve the issues that are associated with the traditional medical reviewing process.
Herry Han, the partner at Lightspeed that led the investment in Kanchufang, believes that mHealth is becoming a global focus and the demand for efficient medical information sharing is increasing significant. The experience of the team bodes well in the development of the platform. Furthermore, the team’s shared personal experience and passion are both crucial factors to the success of the company.
Lightspeed is a leading venture capital firm focused on early-stage investments in internet, mobile, technology services and enterprise solution companies in China. The investment made to Kanchufang is considered as Lightspeed’s first move into the medical and healthcare industry. Lightspeed China’s portfolio includes Tujia, Meilele, Rong360, MediaV, Dianping, Pai Pai Dai and BTC-China.