One of India’s largest private hospital chains, Apollo hospitals is setting up a seed fund for healthcare startups in India. The announcement was made by Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director of Apollo Hospitals at the 15th edition of Bio Asia 2018 - Asia's biggest life sciences and healthcare conference, held in Hyderabad, Telangana.

Sangita Reddy said, “The overall size of the fund is growing from $50 million to $100 million. To start with, $5 million will be available and then it will reach $10 million. We are running the accelerator part of the activity. A range of startups are approaching us which are in healthtech and science-tech.”

“We are constantly approached by healthcare startups at multiple levels and to cater to this need, we have created a small fund that supports these startups reach their next level,” Sangita Reddy, joint managing director, Apollo Hospitals told Telangana Today.

Notably, Apollo Hospitals is first to introduce robotic surgery in India and the hospital chain is also going to work with IBM Watson Healthcare in the artificial intelligence space. It is also collaborating with few more companies where it going to share intellectual property rights (IPR).

Additionally, in order to help creating better onco-diagnostics system in India, Apollo Hospitals will sign a formal memorandum of understanding with IBM to leverage its artificial intelligence capabilities of IBM Watson.

Last December, Apollo Hospitals had announced that it is setting up an accelerator and innovation hub to mentor startups in the healthcare space. The innovation hub was said to be launched in Hyderabad, on the campus of Apollo Hospitals.

While speaking at panel at the GES summits in December 2017, Sangita Reddy had said that Apollo hospitals is focussing on artificial intelligence and related areas, where it is also running some proof of concepts and pilot projects and added that few startups can even buy machines and aggregate demand and provide service.

To recall, according to a report published by Nasscom in last November, funding in healthcare tech segment has witnessed 129% increase in funding from $70 million in FY17 to $160 million in FY18. Attributing to the increased traction in these segments to innovation.

Talking about Telangana, the state is fast coming up as HealthTech and Life-Science Hub of India. In Hyderabad alone a lot of healthcare and life-science startups are coming up. This month, Hyderabad- based preventive healthcare startup CallHealth has raised about $5 Mn from Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd. Last July, an another Hyderabad-based healthcare startup Nemo Care was announced winner of Israel's Start TLV Competition.

In Hyderabad, healthtech startups received a total funding of $11 million in 2017, shows figures available with online startup research platform Tracxn.

Last year, Hyderabad-based T-Hub, India's largest startup accelerator, tied-up with pharmaceutical major Novartis Healthcare Private Ltd (NHPL) to create and execute joint programs that would benefit Health Tech startups from across segments.

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