Dr. Saira Siddique, the first solo female founder of a Pakistani firm, has raised $1.8 million in pre-seed capital for medIQ, a health software company.
In Pakistan, women-led firms have only raised 3% of overall investment for the startup ecosystem in the last five years, which is why this fundraiser is a ground-breaking opportunity for Pakistani women founders to show what they can accomplish.
“We are thrilled to complete this strategic funding round, which is an endorsement of our holistic healthcare model by leading investors with robust healthcare and technology expertise,” stated Dr. Siddique, medIQ’s Founder and CEO.
“medIQ is redefining digital healthcare services by improving quality and convenience for patients, reducing costs for patients, healthcare providers, and insurers, and with a strong capacity to become a regional player,” she stated.
“To deliver an efficient model of care at scale, an integrated digital platform is a must-have in today’s healthcare system.” Dr. Siddiqui continued, “medIQ has demonstrated a track record with over 300,000 patients served in only eighteen months.”
The pandemic acted as a spur for Pakistan’s startup scene, with investments increasing from $65 million in 2020 to $350 million in 2021 across 83 deals. Despite its large market potential, the healthcare sector has lacked venture capital funding. This is anticipated to change as investors become more interested in the field.
“Our health-care system is fragmented, and hospitals are overburdened,” Dr. Siddiqui noted, “because patients must go to a hospital even for minor ailments.” Timely, inexpensive, and holistic healthcare is unattainable with an inefficient, brick-and-mortar, hospital-centered strategy. The typical consultation wait time in hospitals is 90 minutes, with only 2.5 minutes spent on the actual consultation. “Ninety percent of patients can be treated on the spot without having to go to the hospital.”
“MedIQ is reversing the current model of hospital-centered healthcare delivery by delivering healthcare to patients at their point of need using a patient-centered approach,” she said.
The round brings together a number of strategic investors, including Amana Capital, based in the United States, and Cordoba Ventures, which focuses on the Middle East and Pakistan (CorVCF). Seraph Group, a US-based early-stage investor; TAJDEED, a syndicate of notable physicians from the APPNA (All Pakistani Physicians of North American Descent Association); House of Habib; and leading Silicon Valley health tech angel investors also participated in the round. It is NRD Capital and Seraph Group’s first direct investment in a Pakistani startup.
medIQ is Pakistan’s first full B2B virtual care platform, offering everything a business or insurance needs to provide virtual care to its customers. It also serves individual clients in both urban and rural areas by linking them directly to health-care providers.
A configurable plug-and-play technology stack, a comprehensive network of online pharmacies, and online laboratory services are all part of the B2B virtual care solution powered by medIQ, which is backed by GPs and specialists from 32 specialties, nursing staff, and dedicated home care teams. This is coupled through a unique electronic medical record system that records patient data in a single profile and promotes data sharing and interoperability, resulting in better care and lower costs.
Based on the development of AI and Machine Learning tools using high-quality patient data, medIQ wants to spend further in its tech infrastructure to provide holistic virtual care to corporations and patients with the cash raised. The organisation intends to spread its services throughout 20 cities in Pakistan and throughout the region.