Oladoc announces $1.8m raise to scale healthcare platform

Post pre-Series A round, health tech startup plans to solidify its position in doctor appointment booking vertical

LAHORE: Healthtech startup Oladoc on Friday claimed to have raised a $1.8 million investment in a pre-Series A round, as the healthtech sector sees a surge in venture funding.

According to a statement, the investment round, which was led by Pakistan’s Sarmayacar Ventures along with participation from Doha Tech Angels and other angel investors, was closed in the last quarter of 2021. Today’s announcement is the official confirmation of the funding. 

According to Crunchbase data, oladoc raised $1.1 million in seed funding in 2018, and $200,000 in pre-seed funding in 2016, which brings the total raised by the startup to $3 million.

Founded in 2016 by Abid and Arif Zuberi, oladoc is one of the prominent doctor booking platforms, which now also connects patients with doctors for video consultation sessions. The healthtech startup has also introduced lab test booking on the app.  

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Healthtech space in Pakistan is ripe for disruption. With a population of 221 million, Pakistan currently has one doctor to every 1,300 Pakistanis, ranking 115 globally while a meager 1.2 per cent of the GDP is spent on healthcare by the government. 

Most of the people lack access to qualified doctors and the problem grew during the pandemic when access to a doctor was further restricted due to lockdowns. The pandemic also provided an opportunity for healthtech companies to scale and the adoption of healthcare apps picked up during the pandemic. 

Healthtech startups raised $15.4 million during the foregone year, besides oladoc funding. The funding is 187% per cent higher than 2020. Healthtech startups raised a cumulative $5.36 million in disclosed funding in 2020, according to data from i2i Ventures.

Prominently, Dawaai announced a $8.5 million raise last year, Healthwire $3.3 million, Ailaaj $1.6 million, and Marham announced a $1 million raise. All these startups have ambitions to become healthcare superapps where patients can get all-encompassing primary healthcare service, from finding a doctor to getting a consultation on video, medicine delivery, and lab test booking. 

Increased digital adoption of healthcare apps during the pandemic and the multi-million dollar rounds raised means oladoc would have to brave tough competition. On how it plans to compete with other startups, Zuberi said, “As far as growth is concerned, the important thing is execution. A lot of people have similar ideas so whoever executes better is the one which can take a better market share.”

In particular, oladoc says it has a dominant position in the doctor appointment booking vertical and plans to solidify its position further. “Post funding, we have been working to consolidate our position in the appointment booking. We are also keeping an eye out on the new verticals that we can enter into,” said Zuberi. 

oladoc also plans to bring in seasoned C-level leadership to the team, to help scale the organisation faster. It claims to have a network of over 8,000 bookable doctors at present, has served more than 15 million users in the last three years, and has seen phenomenal growth in the last 12 months. 

Rabeel Warraich, the founder and CEO at Sarmayacar, said, ‘We are excited to partner with oladoc on their journey to provide quality healthcare to everyone in Pakistan,” he says. “We look forward to working with the founders to accelerate oladoc’s growth and unlock the full market potential.”

 

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Taimoor Hassan
The author is a staff member and can be reached at [email protected]

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