Tencent invests $40M in Medlinker to help doctors communicate
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Photo Credit: Creativa Images/ Shutterstock.

This new round of funding will mostly be used for consolidating Medlinker’s online business. The company aims to increase its user base from 400,000 to 500,000.

TechNode

Chinese tech giant Tencent is moving another step further in line with its forays into medtech sector by leading a $40 million Series B in online healthcare service Medlinker. FY Capital also participated in the round.

Medlinker is a China-focussed mobile platform that allows physicians to network and communicate with each other. Doctors on the platform can connect with other medical professionals and discuss treatment measures for specific cases. In its latest update, the app added a WeChat-like group chat feature to facilitate communication among users. While the concept of private tech companies facilitating basic medical services may seem foreign in other countries, China’s health system is often critically underfunded and disjointed.

Medlinker doctors have to register with their real name to ensure the legitimacy of the platform. Personal information like contacts, hospitals they are working in and job titles are required in the registration process.

Founded in 2014, Medlinker’s development is quite impressive for a startup that was established less than one year ago. The company has 200 staff with a core team from both tech and medical backgrounds. The platform now claims to have 100,000 registered users.

Funding and future plans

The new funding will go primarily into consolidating its online business, aiming to increase the users base from 400,000 to 500,000, according to the company founder and CEO Wang Shirui. He added that the firm is also integrating office productivity features in an attempt to expand beyond the social networking sector.

The company’s existing inventors include Sequoia Capital China, Ce Yuan Ventures and PreAngel. The Chengdu-based startup is moving its operation and core team to Beijing in pursuit of talent, said Wang, but he added the R&D team would remain at Chengdu.

Tencent has made big moves in the online healthcare sector with two hefty investments in health service community DXY and Guahao last year. Tencent’s arch-rival Alibaba Group has made early inroads into this sector with a series of moves including the acquisition of CITIC 21CN to control drug-data, launching the drug authenticity plan, the future hospital plan, and supporting Alipay Wallet mobile payment in pharmacies. Baidu is also trying to stake a claim to this market with  its healthcare program Beijing Health Cloud and mobile app Baidu Doctor.

This post was originally published on TechNode.

Featured Image Credit:Creativa Images/ Shutterstock.

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