Mumbai: To help bridge the gap in medical services, the US today extended a guarantee to loans of $9 million (Rs 60 crore) to be given to Healthspring, a primary healthcare provider.
Small-sized private sector lender Ratnakar Bank Ltd will be extending the loan under the scheme for a five-year period, during which Healthspring is targeting to grow its network of family health clinics by 10 times to 300 centres.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is giving the loan guarantee through its Development Credit Authority, its mission director Jonathan Addleton told reporters here.
The USAID signed the agreement with RBL.
Managing director and chief executive Vishwavir Ahuja said the bank is topping it up with Rs 40 crore of its funds without any guarantee, making it a Rs 100 crore funding line for the company.
Addleton said USAID has participated in six different transactions in the renewable energy and agri space in the country till now and this is the first time that it is supporting the healthcare sector.
He said given the huge population and the demographics, there is a huge opportunity for the healthcare sector in the country.
Stating that he expects the healthcare opportunity in the country to grow to $ 280 billion by 2020 from the current $ 40 billion, Ahuja said the critical challenges are infrastructure and capital.
Given the long gestation periods and the high capital requirements, banks are nervous to extend loans to this segment, he said, adding the private sector banks are best placed to support the sector given their ability to innovate.
Healthspring’s Chief Executive and Co-founder Kaushik Sen said the company has 100 doctors and three lakh registered users at present.
For achieving targeted network expansion, it needs to raise up to Rs 200 crore in equity and there will be one round of infusion in mid-2016, he said, adding that it has already had four rounds of fund raising in which seven investors have participated.