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December 27, 2021

Oncology platform Karkinos secures investment from Reliance

US-based biotechnology firm Rakuten Medical holds a minority stake in Karkinos Healthcare.

Karkinos Healthcare, an Indian oncology platform backed by Ratan Tata and the Tata Group, has secured an undisclosed funding from Reliance Digital Health.

As part of the investment, Reliance is said to obtain a minority stake in the Mumbai-headquartered start-up.

US-based biotechnology firm Rakuten Medical also has a minority holding in Karkinos.

The latest investment follows Tata Group’s Rs1.1bn capital infusion into the start-up, which was launched in July last year to offer early detection and diagnosis of common cancers in India.

The firm’s distributed cancer care network collaborates with various healthcare institutions and professionals to provide cancer care close to patients’ home.

At present, the firm has four locations in the Indian state of Kerala and is planning to expand its presence across the rest of the country. In October, Karkinos Healthcare announced its intention to establish 70 community care centres in Kerala.

Additionally, Karkinos is in the process of opening a cancer control centre at the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences site in Imphal, Manipur.

According to Karkinos Healthcare CEO Venkataramanan R, the latest investment validates the firm’s ‘pioneering model of distributed cancer care and the potential impact it can have in the country’.

Venkataramanan commented: “We are overwhelmed with the support received from leading business groups and personalities from corporate India. Cancer care continues to be one of the most underserved needs and we are focussed on scaling our presence in relevant parts of the country.”

Besides Ratan Tata, Karkinos is backed by angel investors including, TVS chairman Venu Srinivasan, Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan, and Paytm founder Shekar Sharma among others.

Recently, Sakra World Hospital launched its robotic-assisted neuro-rehabilitation centre in Bangalore, India, with a dedicated rehab high dependency unit for in-patients undergoing early intervention.

In September this year, Indian digital health startup MFine received $48m investment to develop a virtual hospital in the country.

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