Hyderabad: With around 80 per cent of the population sans any form of health insurance and 63 per cent of all medical emergency costs being out-of-pocket expenses, most families exhaust their entire savings and additionally, borrow money at high-interest rates to finance their medical costs. Medical crowdfunding has emerged as an alternate option for those who need urgent money. Crowdfunding platform Ketto has launched over one lakh fundraisers for medical campaigns alone since its inception, raising over Rs 600 crore.
Varun Sheth, CEO & co-founder Ketto.org told Telangana Today, “In the initial two years of our operations, we focused on startups, ideas and businesses. We gradually shifted our focus to social and non-profit purposes. Over the last 3-4 years we have seen the effective usage of our platform for medical fundraising for medical treatment purposes.”
Ketto is collaborating directly with hospitals with its staff working with doctors and talking to patients for hand-holding throughout the process. Donors are also kept in the loop where their money is being used. Cancer, accidents, calamity/pandemic affected individuals, cardiac surgeries, transplants had been the top categories for fundraising. The platform on an average is able to raise funds at a turnaround time of Rs 1 lakh in four days.
On the market trends, he said, “Southern market is very active for medical crowdfunding. Vellore for instance is one of the top cities because of the presence of CMC Vellore hospital. In Hyderabad, liver transplants had been the top cause for reaching out to Ketto. We are seeing an uptake for critical Covid-related treatments as well on the platform in the last 2-3 months. Post Covid as well, medical crowdfunding will continue to increase as several hundreds of millions of people still have no access to health insurance.”
“Cost of medical treatment continues to go up double-digit year-on-year while income levels are just growing 3-4 per cent. The parity between private and public healthcare is also increasing gradually,” noted Sheth.
The company has completed 2,10,000 fundraisers for varied causes since 2012, and is raising the first Rs 100-crore fund for a campaign. It has raised over Rs 1,100 crore in total.
He noted, “Crowdfunding has so far remained a tier-1 activity and the company is keen to benefit people in the tier-2 cities, in the next one year. The company is looking to have more staff on ground to help the patients needing help. WE are planning to raise about $12-15 million (close to Rs 100 crore) next year.
Right from Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan to Nobel Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi, several notable personalities have used Ketto to raise funds for different causes. The company is also seeing traction in startup (product-driven) and student innovation activities.
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