Everise has practically made it in its journey to a US$1 billion valuation, feeding high hopes for the future of global services in the healthcare vertical.
Everise announced in late December of 2023 that it had finally clinched capital from global growth investment firm Warburg Pincus. Though the amount invested remains undisclosed, added to capital from Canadian asset management firm Brookfield, the company’s valuation is now estimated at “around US$1 billion.”
The number is impressive for a relatively new company. Everise was established in 2016 and was sold four years later to Brookfield for a reported US$450 million. Today, the company claims to have 19,000 employees spread across facilities in Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Americas.
Impressive as Everise’s current valuation is, it isn’t as surprising. Healthcare has positioned itself as a very lucrative vertical for BPO providers. The valuation of its market was estimated at nearly US$300 billion in 2023, a number that’s expected to almost double by the end of the decade.
Expectations for further growth in healthcare BPO were a major component in Everise’s and Warburg Pincus’ messaging. Warburg’s Managing Director Viraj Sawhney mentioned back in October, when the plans for investment were officially announced, that the firm expects “strong underlying demand for quality customer experience, driven by an increasing outsourcing trend across the global healthcare industry.”
The joint press release issued in December cites “the backdrop of a globally aging population and rising healthcare expenditure” as major forces generating change in the customer experience industry. It must be noted that Warburg Pincus’s portfolio already includes firms from the healthcare, tech and business services sectors.
The state of healthcare BPO was a relevant argument for Everise’s investors even before Warburg’s recent interest. After acquiring the company in 2020, Brookfield justified its purchase stating that “this business has significant opportunities to grow and expand, particularly in the high growth healthcare and technology sectors.”
Healthcare, like many other industries, is accelerating towards further digitalization. The fact that Everise –a company with feet in the healthcare and technology verticals– has received so much attention from firms such as Warburg in less than five years speaks volumes about the potential investors see in healthcare BPO.
Not all doors are open
In spite of the high expectations for healthcare BPO, not all doors are open. Healthcare is a challenging vertical for service providers due to it being highly regulated. The abundance of sensitive personal data in its day-to-day operations forces healthcare providers to be extra cautious when going for a third-party partnership.
As noted by some of our expert sources, it’s common for healthcare providers to opt for onshore partnerships to handle more sensitive operations, sending less problematic tasks –coding and billing, claims processing, data processing and workforce management, among other things– to offshore and nearshore territories.
The delivery network of Everise and other healthcare BPO providers tends to cover both onshore and offshore/nearshore geos, allowing them to work both sides of the line, so to speak. Nevertheless, questions remain on whether Everise in particular will be able to push its offshore/nearshore delivery higher in the value chain. The company already dedicates US$2 million every year to data security alone.
When queried about their approach to a highly regulated vertical, Everise Founder and CEO Sudhir Agarwal “will look to continue moving up the value chain, leveraging extensive healthcare and insurance expertise to extend our end-to-end experience to more industry segments”.
What’s to come
Everise’s management has been dreaming of a US$1 billion valuation for at least four years. Some of its top executives were giving thought to how the scenario could play out in 2020, in the midst of the Brookfield acquisition. Back then, they spoke of the need for more M&A activity, as well as geographic expansion, as part of the journey to US$1 billion.
It seems that the current path forward won’t be much different. Their Warburg investment announcement makes explicit mention of “accelerating the growth trajectory of the company through business expansion and M&A”.
When asked about what’s next for Everise, CEO Sudhir Agarwal said the company is weighing its options for growth.
“We will be identifying new markets, as well as expanding in existing geographies by opening microsites in strategic locations, to continue growing our global footprint and workforce,” Mr. Agarwal told NSAM in a written response.
Everise currently has offices in eight locations: India, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Ireland, Colombia, Guatemala and the US. The company announced headcount increases over the past months in both Ireland and Colombia.