Good Methods Global (GMG), a US-based health-tech startup with its product development center in Technopark Thiruvananthapuram, raised Series A funding from US venture capital firm Accel last week.
This has raised the total funding it received so far to $9 million as per reports, which also signals a significant rise in funding of startups with roots in Kerala. The total funding raised by Kerala-based startups this year is pegged at $21.32 million from seven deals.
GMG's CEO Abilash Krishna told Onmanorama in his first interaction after announcing Series A funding from Accel that the funds will be used to fuel further sales efforts, product adoption, product development and talent acquisition. It also plans to raise more funds in the near future to accelerate growth via acquisitions. Abilash, an alumnus of TKM Engineering college, tells Onmanorama about the startup's growth so far, its future plans and talent acquisition challenges it faces in Kerala.
What do you plan to do with Series A round of funding? Do you have plans to raise more funds?
The funds will be used to fuel further sales efforts and product adoption along with product development and talent acquisition. We will raise more funds in the near future to accelerate growth via acquisitions.
How did Accel come into the picture?
Accel Partners has been one of the early backers of SaaS ventures in India. Accel reached out to Good Methods Global once it had achieved a product market fit and gained validation.
Good Method Global's deep product thinking and vertically focused Enterprise SAAS model resonated with Accel's investment philosophy, which eventually resulted in Series A financing.
What is your staff strength now and do you have plans to scale it up?
We began as a 15-member team in 2015. In two years, we’ve risen to a 150-member team and another 100 are expected to join within the next six months.
Our customer facing teams are split between Florida, California and Texas and all of the product engineering and support happens out of our delivery center in Thiruvananthapuram.
What were the challenges you faced in setting up a start-up?
Building a global startup from Thiruvananthapuram has come with its own set of challenges. The dearth of employable talent has made it tough to build a qualified workforce in Kerala. We had to spend considerable time and effort in hiring and grooming talent across engineering, design and product thinking.
Apart from this, operating out of Thiruvananthapuram has not not given us the liberty of building a diverse workforce. To overcome this, we're constantly looking to add passionate people to our team from across India.
Do you have plans to expand in Kerala? What about other geographies?
We will be adding 100 more people to our delivery center in Kerala in the next six months. For the next three years, we are focused on gaining market leadership in North America.
How did the idea of Good Methods Global evolve into a startup?
The founding team at Good Methods Global was consulting for global healthcare corporations in North America. Existing software systems used by out of hospital healthcare groups were inadequate in terms of improving care coordination and practice profitability.
Hence, the team decided to create a cloud-based platform for practice management by multi-location groups.
The first area of focus was determined to be in dentistry, as the founding team had existing relationships with major dental groups and dental insurance companies, who endorsed the concept and pledged their resources towards the creation of such a platform.
Our flagship platform, Fuze Care System, was thus born and co-created with major groups and insurance companies in North America. It’s the only one of its kind in North America that is built to meet the needs of corporate groups to manage multi-location operations.
What is your USP?
Our cloud-based practice management solution is used by large dental groups to increase productivity, minimize costs and improve patient dental care. We are the only enterprise grade solution for large and growing dental groups to manage their clinical, financial, business and reporting needs.
Our experience has been on group practices, rather than single practices. We did not take a system developed for single practices and stretch it out for large practices—instead, we designed our solution specifically for group practices.
We see consolidation as the future in healthcare. The age of independent practices is over. Corporate chains are the future and we expect to be the number one player that serves the business needs of such chains to help them consolidate faster, optimize operations and grow their patient base exponentially using the advanced tools available on our platform.
What are the milestones you have achieved so far and those set to you to the next level?
Our product was built with backing from industry majors in North America. GMG managed to sign up several large dental group practices as early customers. We raised capital from marquee funds and healthcare corporations from Silicon Valley.
GMG also plans to roll out a version of the platform aimed at independent clinics. We look at ourselves being the number one platform for group practices in North America within the next three years.
Elaborate on the support you got from mentors?
Besides Accel, we have a broad base of early stage investors spread between India, Middle east, Singapore and the US. All of our angel investors have actively participated in the value creation process, having significant experience in building and scaling ventures to IPO’s and strategic exits.
Collectively, they bring healthcare, SaaS, technology, consulting and operational experience to the table.