Maria Health is poised to expand presence in the Philippines. After “The Final Pitch” Founder and CEO of Maria Health, Vincent Lau (center), was able to secure backing from Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong, Chairman and CEO of The Sterling Group of Companies (left), and Jose “JoMag” Magsaysay, co-founder of Potato Corner (right).
MANILA, Philippines—Maria Health, the Philippines’ first online health exchange platform, has secured additional investments to help expand its operations in the country in a bid to provide all Filipino small to medium-sized enterprises, as well as individuals, with easier access to healthcare coverage.
One of the more prominent companies now backing Maria Health is Wavemaker Partners. The Singaporean-based VC company recently raised a $65M fund targeting Southeast Asian companies. Its advisory board includes Dado Banatao and Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper.
Maria Health was started by Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Vincent Lau after realizing that SMEs in the Philippines encounter a difficulty in getting health insurance for their employees. Lau identified three common problems, namely: getting delayed feedback from health maintenance organizations (HMO), not having the expertise to do negotiations, and not being able to determine the best packages for their staff.
Lau saw how an online one-stop shop can make access to healthcare easier for Filipinos. This led to the establishment of Maria Health, which provides instant quotes, unbiased guidance, and 24/7 support to buyers. By pooling its buyers, Maria Health is able to aggregate small businesses into one large, risk-adjusted pool so they have access to the same quality healthcare, same benefits, and same competitive rates that larger companies enjoy.
“Maria Health allows Filipinos to avail of healthcare solutions in half the time it would normally take. As Maria Health partners with Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), the company provides them with a direct to consumer channel to grow their business,” said Vincent Lau, Founder and CEO of Maria Health.
Backed by the best
Lau recently participated in the reality TV show, “The Final Pitch”, where he was introduced to Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong, Chairman and CEO of The Sterling Group of Companies, and Jose “JoMag” Magsaysay, co-founder of Potato Corner; both of which are supporters of SMEs in the Philippines.
Lau was successful in getting the support of Lim Bon Liong and Magsaysay, with both investing a sizeable amount into Maria Health.
“We see one of the constraints of growth and economic development for the average Filipino is access to healthcare, and Maria Health provides a solution to that. At the same time, we’re very interested in investing into healthcare given its potential to impact the lives of the common Filipino. It is because of these that we decided to invest into the company,” said Jose “JoMag” Magsaysay, co-founder and CEO of Potato Corner.
Along with funding raised from Silicon Valley angel investors, and with previous initial investments, Maria Health has raised its total capital to $650K, placing the company in a better position to beef up its operations in the region.
Apart from investments, Maria Health is advised by prominent entrepreneurs Paul Rivera who founded Kalibrr, and Farouk Meralli of mClinica. Both Rivera and Meralli have been instrumental in providing counsel for the company’s growth strategy in the country.
Partners to boost healthcare in the PH
Apart from its healthcare partners Asianlife, Lifeline, Maxicare, MediCard, and PhilCare, Maria Health has recently partnered with Ayala Health to further the common mission of both parties to redefine healthcare by providing accessibility and affordability of services to all Filipinos.
“Since our target market is mostly digitally savvy and requires the convenience of online-transactions, Maria Health serves as one of our channels to serve this growing need for e-store. The partnership is going to be mutually beneficial since each one can leverage on each other’s strength: Maxicare has the products and the network of providers to deliver good customer experience while Maria Health has the following and the on-line capability to do on-line commerce,” says Mavel Banocnoc, Vice President of Marketing, Maxicare Healthcare Corporation.
Most recently, Ayala Health launched FamilyDOC, the first 3-in-1 community based clinic offering the combined services of high-quality primary care, a diagnostic facility, and a pharmacy.
“FamilyDOC’s (AC Health) goal is to make quality healthcare more accessible and affordable for Filipino families by bringing its services closer to middle-income communities. As we expand by opening more clinics, we want to make sure that we are accessible both physically and digitally. Which is why we believe that Maria Health can connect us faster and easier to the communities we are in,” says KC De Leon, Sales & Marketing Manager of FamilyDOC.
“Partnering with Ayala Health does not only allow for further credibility for Maria Health. More importantly, it helps us with our mission to provide access to affordable healthcare to Filipinos nationwide,” adds Lau.
Currently, the Maria Health is servicing more than over 60 small to medium enterprises (SMEs), which allows it to draw insights from over 2,000 Filipino employees. At the same time, company offers prepaid cards allowing individuals the flexibility to choose and only pay for specific services depending on their budget and needs. Moving forward, Maria Health plans to further expand its partnerships to offer more products and services that cover the gaps traditional HMOs and current plans do not cover.
For more information on Maria Health and its services, you may visit http://mariahealth.ph.