Cairo-based medicine delivery and claims management platform Yodawy has raised $1 million in Series A led by Egypt’s leading VC Algebra Ventures and CVentures, the recently launched corporate VC firm of Egypt’s largest private bank Commercial International Bank.
It is the first disclosed investment made by CVentures that is primarily focused on fintech startups. Yodawy that’s mainly a healthtech startup has apparently secured the investment from CVentures because of its insurance business.
The round that happens to be the first external investment raised by Yodawy was also joined by ASI Ventues, an Egyptian angel investment firm.
Founded last year by Karim Khashaba, Sherief El-Feky, and Yasser AbdelGawad, Yodawy enables users to browse and order medicines and other personal care products through its mobile app. The users also have the option to order medicines by taking a picture of their prescription and uploading it in Yodawy’s app. The orders are routed to the best-matching pharmacy from Yodawy’s network of over 2,500 pharmacies across 30 cities in Egypt.
The startup claims to have completed over 500,000 orders in the last twelve months.
The patients can also access their medical insurance copayment plans on the app. If the insurance provider is part of Yodawy’s network, the approval process for requested medicines is digitally managed and the order is then routed to the best-matching pharmacy for delivery.
“Pharmacies benefit from incremental revenues as well as increased efficiencies through digital claims processing, allowing them to use their staff to deliver a better experience for in-store customers,” the startup said in a statement.
Karim Khashaba, Yodawy’s co-Founder and CEO, who was previously with Booz & Company, commenting on the occasion, said, “There is an incredible opportunity in the pharmacy benefits and claims processing space. It’s an established business model in different parts of the world, with no real solution in the region. Consumers and insurance companies alike are absolutely desperate for a better value proposition.”
“The region has come a long way over the past couple of years, but we still believe very little is being done to address deeper infrastructure gaps. This is where Yodawy is looking to create real impact,” he added.
Yodawy has also developed a gamified loyalty program for its customers that helps them earn discounts and rewards as they earn points with every order placed through the platform.
Karim Hussein, Algebra Ventures’ Managing Partner, said, “Yodawy has a very promising team that is led by an experienced and resilient entrepreneur with strong product passion and an ability to attract good talent. With their vision, strategy and outstanding progress, Yodawy has been able to deliver outstanding results in their first year of operations. Algebra is truly excited about this opportunity and confident in Yodawy’s ability to lead the digital transformation of the healthcare sector in Egypt and the MENA region.”
Emad Fouad, the Managing Director of newly established CVentures, said, “Yodawy has the potential to become a leading digital pharmacy benefits platform in the region. It’s clear go-to-market addresses fundamental problems experienced by pharmacies, insurance companies and their respective customers, effectively adding significant value to all stakeholders. CVentures is excited at the prospect of working closely with Yodawy, and we look forward to helping the Founders achieve their vision and roll-out of additional innovative offerings.”
Chefaa, another similar Egyptian medicine delivery platform, had also raised six-figure investment earlier this year. Belshifa is also a player operating in this space in Egypt but is apparently bootstrapped until now.