Egypt’s Chefaa raises six-figure seed for its on-demand medicine delivery platform

Cairo-based healthtech startup Chefaa has raised seed funding in a round led by 500 Startups with participation of Flat6Labs (follow-on investment) and a group of undisclosed angel investors, the startup announced in a statement to MENAbytes. The startup did not disclose exact size of investment but has told MENAbytes that its a six-figure USD transaction.

Founded in 2017 by Dr. Doaa Aref, a PhD in Business Analysis and Dr. Rasha Rady, a PhD in Pediatrics, Chefaa through its mobile apps enables patients with chronic diseases to order their medicines and receive it at their doorstep every month. The users have the option to order a month-worth of dosage in a single order and then repeat this order every month. They also receive monthly reminders to reorder the medicine and Chefaa also notifies the users when a certain medicine is running low in the market so the users could consult their doctors for an alternative.

To place the order, a user has to scan their prescription using Chefaa’s app, select their location and choose the method of payment. The order then goes to a nearby Chefaa pharmacy partner (who have their own Chefaa app) who process the order. If one nearby pharmacy cancels the order, it automatically goes to the next one without having the user to do anything. The delivery, as per local regulations, is taken care of by the pharmacies.

Even though Chefaa focuses on recurring orders by patients with chronic diseases and that’s where most of their orders come from, the startup allows anyone with a prescription to order their medicines.

Chefaa also has a CSR initiative enabling patients of chronic diseases with low income to also order and receive their medicines.

Launched a little over a year ago, Chefaa is already operational in nine Egyptian cities and has generated sales of over $1 million, completing more than 100,000 orders through its network of 800+ pharmacies.

The growth details that Chefaa shared with MENAbytes indicate that the startup has grown massively since starting last year. In the last six months alone, they’ve grown almost three times from ~6,700 orders a month in December last year to over 16,000 orders in June this year.

Dr. Doaa Aref, the co-founder and CEO of Chefaa in a conversation with MENAbytes said that most of their orders are coming from Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, and Delta.

The startup is planning to use the latest investment to work on second release of its app and expand their service all over Egypt, starting with Upper part of the country, Dr. Doaa told us, adding that they’re also eyeing international expansion by the end of next year with Saudi on top of their list.

An angel investor who participated in the round, commenting on the occasion, said, “The team behind Chefaa has shown me that they are the domain expert and have a clear vision of what’s next for them. I believe that this investment is going to be one of the best I have done so far.”

Chefaa was part of Flat6Labs Cairo’s tenth cycle and graduated from the program in mid-2018.

Marie Therese Fam, Managing Partner of Flat6Labs Cairo, said, “Flat6Labs believed in Chefaa from day one. With the strong team leading Chefaa and their vision, we are confident in their ability to lead the digital transformation in the healthcare sector not only in Egypt, but across the entire MENA region.”

“With the outstanding progress witnessed by Chefaa in its first year of operations, which reflected relentless efforts to grow Chefaa breaking all barriers and overcoming all challenges, Flat6Labs was excited to continue its strategic relationship with Chefaa and participate in their follow-on seed round,” she added.

Chefaa is currently taking part in Womena’s on-going cohort as well.

Zubair Naeem Paracha
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