investor stories

Why we said yes to Ora Group

Today’s topic: why we said yes to investing in a healthcare platform

Hi friend! Chloe here from Hustle Fund with another edition of “why we said yes”.

If you’ve been paying attention, you know that Hustle Fund uses a 5-pillar analysis approach when assessing companies to invest in. We evaluate:

1. team
2. problem
3. solution
4. market
5. traction

You can read about these pillars in theory right here. But how do we actually use them in practice? That’s what we’re gonna talk about today. We’ll dive deep into the thought process behind why we invested into a company called Ora Group.

Let’s do this.

About Ora Group

Ora Group is a D2C healthcare platform in Southeast Asia. 

The company started in 2020 tackling issues in mens’ health, and quickly expanded into womens’ health and skincare to become an end-to-end platform that handles everything from consultations to prescription delivery and post-care.

The Team

After hearing a bazillion pitches from different D2C healthcare solutions, Hustle Fund GP Shiyan Koh – who is based in Singapore and often leads our Southeast Asia deals – formed a mental model.

She believed two things needed to be in place for a D2C healthcare solution to be successful:

  1. Integration with pharmacies; prescriptions were a key part of the business, and distribution was critical
  2. Team needs someone with a strong consumer customer acquisition background; customers would need to be educated on options available to them 

Shiyan was introduced to Ora Group’s founder Elias in 2020, and it took just one Zoom meeting for Shiyan to realize that Elias had these two traits. 

He was a CMO at Zalora (one of the biggest Southeast Asia e-commerce sites), had prior customer acquisition experience, and clearly understood what was required to win the market: strong medical advisory relationships, and distribution hacks. It didn’t hurt that he already had a Malaysian pharmacy license too.

Shiyan felt like Elias was uniquely positioned to build this company.

The Problem

In Southeast Asia, most people still traditionally go to the doctor to get physical diagnosis or prescriptions. But there are some issues that are a little… awkward to see the doctor for. And because it’s awkward, sometimes people wait until the situation gets really serious before going to the doctor. 

Another problem is that many Southeast Asian markets have a high patient-to-doctor ratio. This means most doctors see way more patients than they can realistically serve. Patients then have longer waiting times to see a doctor, perhaps even poorer quality of care if the doctor is extremely overwhelmed. 

All of this leads to people skipping doctor visits entirely because of the inconvenience and poor experience.

The Solution

So Elias decided to build Ora Group, a healthcare platform that would serve consumers across Southeast Asia.

Elias’ vision was to create a personalized online healthcare experience for consumers. This solution would solve problems for both patients and doctors.

Patients could avoid awkward in-person conversations with their doctors by moving to an online experience. This would also enable them to get treatment quickly, and without the inconvenience of waiting in long lines at the doctor’s office. 

It also solves the problem for doctors. These online appointments were much quicker than in-person appointments, so doctors weren’t as overwhelmed, and they could provide better care to their patients overall.

The Market

Everyone goes to the doctor. And there are tons of people in Southeast Asia (like, 600million+ type of tons). So the market for the healthcare platform is not a problem. 

Elias also planned to cross-sell patients the platform on products like supplements, vitamins or even skincare, on top of prescribed medicine. 

So that’s tons of stacks that Ora Group can expand into even within the same market. 


The Ora Group wasn’t live when Shiyan first invested. They were pre-revenue, and getting their first customers through ads and partnerships with partners that had alignment to healthcare, like gyms. 

Elias’ consumer marketing background helped unlock the education piece to their target audience, too. 

Ora Group also did cold outreach to onboard doctors to the platform. 

With these two pieces syncing up – customers acquired, doctors on board – and strong relationships built with partners in this regulated healthcare industry, Ora Group was well positioned to unlock a different, personalized healthcare experience for the Malaysian market, and eventually the region.

So while they didn’t have revenue yet, this path towards customer acquisition on both sides of the marketplace was enough for Shiyan for now.

How is Ora Group doing now?

Having closed their Series A in early 2023, Ora Group has since launched three products across three different markets: Malaysia, Singapore, and Philippines. They are actively evaluating a 4th market. 

Pretty much killin’ it.

As always… what do YOU think?

We like to end these editions of Small Bets with a question for you. Knowing what you know now about Ora Group, would you have invested? 

If not, why not? Would genuinely love to hear your opinion.


Chloe Tan is Associate Marketing Manager at Hustle Fund, where she curates physical and written experiences for the Hustle Fund investor and founder community. When she's not connecting with people, she's probably connecting with nature on long walks or by the beach (ideally, both), or diving into alternative universes through good reads and music. Get in touch on Twitter and LinkedIn.