Healthcare Startup Cancer Clinics taps $1.5 million in series A round, plans for expansion

Cancer Clinics Cofounder

Healthcare Startup Cancer Clinics has closed its Series A funding round led by Axilor Ventures at $1.5 million. Singapore-based early-stage fund M- Venture Partners (MVP) has also participated in the funding round, making its first India bet. In other prestigious mention, the round has seen the participation from NATCO Pharma Limited, Hyderabad-based pharma and infrastructure entrepreneurs, leaders of Bharti group, senior partners from McKinsey, and ISB alumni.

Cancer Clinics is a healthcare startup founded by Sonali Srungaram and Sasi Sunkara in April 2019, to fill gaps in the health systems and addressing the non-communicable disease burden. The startup is a brainchild of the founders who did extensive research to understand the irregularities, and created a model to solve them. They aim to substantially improve the accessibility and affordability of cancer care centres amid the rise of cancer cases in the country. It combines digital access, distributed delivery, and partnerships with asset owners to create a comprehensive cancer care provider.

Cancer Clinics is a unit of CIPHER Oncology Pvt Ltd that operates as an innovative digital cancer institute via its network of day-care cancer centres. The startup launched its first two centres in Hyderabad in 2020 on account of World Cancer Day. Today, any unit of Cipher Oncology will provide services like cancer screening tests, medical oncology, surgical oncology, radiation oncology, and integrative care including counselling and nutrition consultation among others.

Cancer Clinics hopes to close the Series A funding in the second half of 2021. Cancer Clinics will utilize the funds to scale up its oncology practices, and add four more centres in the next few months, alongside aspires to expand outside the city of Hyderabad.

Speaking on the investment, Mayank Parekh, Founder & CEO of MVP said, “Healthcare provision will continue to require offline channels. Real growth will therefore require a deeper integration of online and offline formats. This is why for MVP’s first investment in India, we have chosen Cipher Oncology (Cancer Clinics), a startup that has adopted the digital-first, asset light health-care delivery model in the treatment of cancer.”

Prachi Sinha, Healthcare Lead at Axilor expressed his confidence with Cancer Clinics saying, “India is estimated to have 0.2 comprehensive centres per million versus 4.4 per million as per global standards. We are confident of Cancer Clinics’ model of offering comprehensive cancer care to the patient while eliminating the need to be restricted to any physical location, making it accessible at scale.”

A statement released by the Cancer Clinics on the fundraiser said, “Cancer Clinics is a unit of CIPHER Oncology and a digital cancer institute launched to tackle the mounting cancer burden in emerging economies. It combines digital access, distributed delivery, and partnerships with asset owners to create a comprehensive cancer care provider. Cancer Clinics aims to improve access to and affordability of holistic oncology and completely reimagine how cancer is managed.”

“Despite the disruption caused by the pandemic, it was able to establish product-market fit, attract an accomplished panel of oncologists and is getting encouraging traction from patients. Within its first year of operation, Cancer Clinics has been able to implement evidence-based care pathways and demonstrate improved clinical outcomes while reducing the financial burden on patients,” the statement by Cancer Clinics further read.

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