Online Pharma Dawaai Raises $8.5 million in a Round Led by 500 Startups 

Online Pharmacy Startup Dawaai Raises $8.5 million in a Round Led by 500 Startups 

Dawaai, a Karachi-based online pharmacy, has announced its funding round of $8.5 million led by 500 Startups. This brings its total funding to $10.5 million, with Sarmayacar and two family offices as its existing investors. 

Speaking to MENAbytes, the startup shared that equity makes up a large portion of this funding round. Secondaries were included in the sale, with some investors quitting (or partially departing) the company, resulting in some excellent gains.

Dawaai is a web and mobile-based platform that offers pharmaceuticals, personal care goods, and medical equipment to individuals and MSMEs (pharmacies) across the country. It was founded in early 2014 by Furquan Kidwai. It works directly with pharmaceutical firms and huge distributors to sell genuine medications at the lowest feasible cost, according to the company. Users can order medications either by inputting their prescription or manually adding them to their cart utilizing the platform’s search function. To complete an order for prescription drugs, the user needs to upload a prescription.

In addition to medicines and medical equipment, Dawaai’s platform now enables users to consult doctors online, receive health services (nursing, physiotherapy, etc.) at home, and book lab tests. Speaking to MENA Bytes, Founder and CEO Dawaai shared that a large number of their customers are patients battling chronic ailments, who require doctor consultations, lab tests, and checks on a regular basis. 

“We’ve been adding all these services to Dawaai and would continue to add more. It is very encouraging to see that teleconsultations offered by Dawaai have grown to tens of thousands of monthly sessions in no time”, he said, speaking to the media platform. 

This has enabled doctors to be remotely accessible, doubling their income as well. 

Commenting on the funding round, CEO Dawaai said in a press statement, 

“We are laser-focused on our mission to make healthcare accessible and affordable for the people of Pakistan and wider South Asia. The first step in achieving that is building the missing pharmaceutical supply chain infrastructure in the markets we operate and honing the next generation of talent to take our economies forward. This financing is enabling us to carry forward on our journey to make the lives of people better across the length and breadth of Pakistan, with a low-cost healthcare model for all Pakistanis.”

Tony Wang, the Managing Partner at 500 Startups, said, 

“In recent years, Furquan and his team have established Dawaai not only as the premier digital health startup in Pakistan, but as a pioneer tech company in a growing startup ecosystem. We are thrilled to continue to back Dawaai as it facilitates access to healthcare to millions of people.”

Thus far, Dawaai claims to have served 11 million people across Pakistan, through its web and mobile apps.  Dawaai’s platform has been used by a considerable number of these individuals for purchasing prescribed medicines as well as other health-related products. Through several distribution sites across the country, the healthtech company already delivers pharmaceuticals to 98 locations. It also has its own fleet in several parts of the country, allowing it to provide 2-hour delivery in some places (Karachi and Lahore).

Dawaai’s team has also grown from 15 employees in 2018 to 250 people at present. It has added members to all the functions of the company and plans to continue hiring more. With Covid19 and the surge in healthcare provision, the startup claims to have grown by a remarkable 350 percent margin in the last twelve months. 

With this investment, Dawaai aims to continue building the pharmaceutical supply chain infrastructure in Pakistan while it continues to improve its technologies to enhance the company’s performance.

Source: MENA Bytes