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HD secures $5.6M funding for developing a Sierra AI tailored for healthcare in Southeast Asia.

ByYasmeeta Oon

Apr 16, 2024
HD secures $5.6M funding for developing a Sierra AI tailored for healthcare in Southeast Asia.

HD secures $5.6M funding for developing a Sierra AI tailored for healthcare in Southeast Asia.

In the realm of technological advancement, the evolution of chatbots has been nothing short of remarkable. Gone are the days of rigid, pre-programmed responses; today’s chatbots, powered by sophisticated generative AI, are capable of navigating complex inquiries with finesse. This transformative shift has not only revolutionized the customer service landscape but has also opened up new vistas of opportunity for businesses across various sectors.

Among the trailblazers in this domain is Thailand-based HD, a company at the forefront of leveraging conversational AI to revolutionize healthcare services. What started as a marketplace for third-party healthcare and surgery services has now morphed into a hub of innovative AI solutions aimed at enhancing the healthcare customer journey.

According to co-founder Sheji Ho, the genesis of HD’s foray into conversational AI stemmed from a fundamental observation: the intricacies of healthcare services necessitate a personalized approach to customer interaction. “The products we are selling are not the typical stuff you buy on Amazon. They are hospital services, so people shop the same way as they do offline,” Ho told DMR News.

HD’s journey towards harnessing the power of conversational AI has been marked by strategic partnerships and significant investment. Recently, the company secured a substantial $5.6 million Series A funding round led by SBI Ven Capital, in collaboration with Kyobo Securities and NTUitive. This infusion of capital underscores the growing recognition of AI’s transformative potential in the healthcare sector.

Key Players in HD’s Series A Funding Round
SBI Ven Capital$5.6 million
M Venture PartnersUndisclosed
FEBE VenturesUndisclosed
Partech PartnersUndisclosed
Ratio VenturesUndisclosed
Orvel VenturesUndisclosed
TA VenturesUndisclosed

HD’s vision extends beyond mere automation; the company aspires to become the “Sierra AI of the Southeast Asian healthcare industry.” This ambitious goal is underpinned by a commitment to harnessing vertical AI—tailored to the specific nuances of the healthcare domain.

Ho emphasizes the importance of leveraging local data as a competitive advantage in emerging markets. “Emerging markets need to compete and take advantage of AI by using the data they have—proprietary data that nobody else has,” he asserts. By capitalizing on its extensive repository of anonymized transaction data, chat logs, FAQs, and product catalogs, HD aims to fine-tune its AI models to deliver bespoke solutions for the healthcare sector.

At the heart of HD’s mission lies a commitment to empowering healthcare providers with cutting-edge AI-driven solutions. By integrating chatbots seamlessly into its marketplace platform, HD aims to streamline customer interactions and enhance user experience. With approximately 30% to 40% of transactions already conducted through chat commerce, the transition to AI-driven customer support represents a natural evolution for the company.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, HD’s strategic approach to fundraising underscores its resilience and forward-thinking mindset. Despite heading towards profitability on the back of impressive year-on-year growth, the company seized the opportunity to accelerate its expansion plans by securing additional funding.

  • Adapting to Post-Pandemic Realities: Like many startups, HD prioritized cost-cutting and sustainable growth during the pandemic, positioning itself for long-term success.
  • Seizing the Opportunity Amidst Economic Uncertainty: By raising capital during a period of economic downturn, HD capitalized on reduced acquisition costs and talent availability.
  • Valuation Realism: HD’s pragmatic approach to valuation reflects a commitment to sustainable growth and operational excellence, steering clear of the pitfalls of overvaluation.

As HD embarks on its journey to revolutionize the healthcare landscape in Southeast Asia, the convergence of technology and healthcare holds immense promise. By harnessing the power of conversational AI and vertical data integration, the company is poised to usher in a new era of personalized healthcare services. With its sights set on expanding its AI offerings and empowering healthcare providers, HD stands at the vanguard of innovation in the region’s burgeoning healthcare industry.

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Featured Image courtesy of DALL-E by ChatGPT

Yasmeeta Oon

Just a girl trying to break into the world of journalism, constantly on the hunt for the next big story to share.

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