Doctors the medicine for HealthTech success - LaunchVic

Doctors the medicine for HealthTech success

Case Studies

18 Jul 2022 by Holly Clark

‘Invest in what you know … and nothing more’ — the investment thesis of one of the world’s most successful investors, Warren Buffet, and one being readily embraced by Australian Medical Angels (AMA), a national syndicate helping more than 500 doctors and health practitioners break into the investment world.

Founded by Dr Amandeep Hansra and Dr Mian Bi, AMA, which LaunchVic gave $300k to set up in Victoria last November, has already pumped more than $1 million into 13 Victorian HealthTech startups.

We sat down with Dr Hansra to hear more about AMA’s journey to date, and the benefits of sector-specific angel groups for startups.

Experience and Expertise in One Angel Network

Dr Hansra is a practising GP and former CEO and Medical Director of Telstra’s telemedicine arm, ReadyCare.

She said having an intimate understanding of the sector was key to AMA’s rapid growth.

“We are lucky to have a huge range of medical specialties in our group. So, whatever the startup may be, we often will have several investors who know the space intimately,” she said.

“This diversity is reflected in our investment portfolio ranging from disease biomarkers to therapeutic devices.”

Dr Hansra said investors were also providing more than just money, a great example of the additional benefits angel networks can provide to founders.

“The AMA network enables startup founders to connect with the industry, build their business and then approach other VCs or investors with confidence about the model.

“They’re bringing experience, mentorship, networks, credibility and important first customer links.”

Building the next generation of HealthTech startups

With 1 in 5 Victorian startups in HealthTech, the Medical Angels’ expertise is playing an important role in developing early-stage startups.

One example is Telecare, which recently closed a $2.2 million funding round led by AMA and supported by LaunchVic’s Alice Anderson Fund, valuing the business at $20 million.

The startup, founded before the pandemic, has already facilitated more than 40,000 virtual appointments including for remote areas such as Norfolk Island and the Cocos Islands.

Dr Hansra hopes the flexibility offered to syndicate investors by AMA convinces more medical specialists to step forward and invest in emerging companies like Telecare.

“When we started out, we were very careful to handpick the initial investors and make extra-sure they understood the risk elements. When working with early-stage companies, you need to have a certain appetite for risk.

“Our approach now is to do an initial screening before bringing it to the network, and then it’s up to each individual angel to work out what they think is worth investing in,” she said.

Fuelling the startup state

With the addition of Australian Medical Angels, LaunchVic has funded seven Angel networks, including Angel Partners, Archangel Ventures, Impact Investment Group, Innovation Bay Angel Network, Scale Investors and Flying Fox Ventures.

The groups have collectively recruited more than 200 new investors, resulting in more than $5 million being invested into Victorian startups.

Dr Hansra said that LaunchVic’s support has greatly helped AMA’s cause.

“LaunchVic’s support has been life-changing for us. I love the fact that they took a chance on us because we’re not traditionally from the investment space, but we’ve got a unique angle. This just shows as an organisation how open-minded and creative LaunchVic is. They have been an absolute dream to work with in being collaborative and supportive.”

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