Dawaai, an online pharmacy based in Karachi, has raised $8.5 million in a round led by 500 Startups, bringing the company’s total funding to $10.5 million. The investment included current investor Sarmayacar and two family offices. According to the startup, equity constitutes a sizable portion of the transaction. Additionally, the purchase featured secondary investments, with some investors quitting (or partially quitting) the company, resulting in some extremely favourable returns. Dawaai did not provide a specific breakdown but said that secondaries accounted for a negligible portion of the deal.
Dawaai, founded in late 2013 by Furquan Kidwai, 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 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 by simply submitting their prescription or by manually adding them to their cart using the platform’s search function. To complete an order for prescription medications, the user must upload a valid prescription.
Dawaai claims to have served 11 million people in the country over the last seven years through its website and mobile applications. Many of these individuals have made medication purchases using Dawaai’s site. The healthtech company presently distributes medications in 98 locations through a network of fulfilment sites located throughout the country. Additionally, in certain portions of the country, it has its own fleet, enabling it to provide two-hour delivery in limited areas (Karachi and Lahore).
The startup reported a 350 percent increase in sales over the last twelve months. Dawaai’s workforce has also increased from approximately 15 personnel two years ago to 350 today. It has increased staff across the board and intends to continue doing so.
Along with drugs and medical equipment, Dawaai’s website now enables customers to consult doctors online, receive in-home health services (nursing, physiotherapy, etc. ), and schedule lab tests.
Furquan Kidwai, the founder and CEO of Dawaai, stated that the majority of consumers who use their site to order medications are chronic patients. “They require regular doctor consultations and lab tests, and to better serve them, we have been adding all of these services to Dawaai and will continue to do so. It’s quite gratifying to see how quickly Dawaai’s teleconsultations have grown to tens of thousands of monthly sessions.”
Several doctors who offer consultations through Dawaai have increased their income, according to Furquan.
In a statement released in response to the round, he added, “We are laser-focused on our mission to make healthcare accessible and affordable for the people of Pakistan and South Asia.” The first step towards accomplishing that goal is to establish the pharmaceutical supply chain infrastructure that is now lacking in the areas in which we operate and to develop the next generation of talent capable of propelling our economies ahead. This funding enables us to continue our mission of improving people’s lives across Pakistan’s length and breadth through a low-cost healthcare model for all Pakistanis.”
According to Tony Wang, Managing Partner of 500 Startups, “in recent years, Furquan and his team have established Dawaai as not only Pakistan’s premier digital health startup, but also as a pioneering technology company in a burgeoning startup ecosystem.” We are happy to continue supporting Dawaai as it improves millions of people’s access to healthcare.”
Dawaai intends to use the funding to continue developing Pakistan’s pharmaceutical supply chain infrastructure and to further expand its technology for business optimisation.