Islamabad-based healthtech startup MedIQ has raised $1.8 million in a pre-seed round to enable businesses to provide healthtech services to their members.
The round was co-led by US-based NRD Capital and Karachi-based Cordoba Ventures, a Middle East and Pakistan focused VC fund. The round was also joined by US-based early-stage investor Seraph Group, TAJDEED, a syndicate of physicians from APPNA (All Pakistani Physicians of North American descent Association), House of Habib, and leading health tech angel investors from Silicon Valley.
Internal documents seen by Profit confirm that the amount raised was $1.8 million in the round.
MedIQ was founded in the mid of 2020 by Dr Saira Siddiqui and is one of the rare solo female founded startups. Dr Saira is a healthcare professional who holds an MBBS, a master’s degree in public health and a PhD in health economics.
Before the entrepreneurial run as the CEO of her healthtech startup, sher served as the founding CEO of Punjab Health Initiative Management Company (PHIMC) which was responsible for implementation of the pro-poor micro health insurance program (Sehat Sahulat) in the province of Punjab.
Instead of targeting the B2C market which is saturated with the presence of a smattering of well-funded healthtech startups like Ailaaj, Oladoc and Healthwire, MedIQ has started off with a focus on enabling businesses provide healthcare services through a backend system.
“We become their virtual healthcare arm which becomes a part of the company systems once it is integrated,” says Dr Saira. She says that the platform covers the continuum of healthcare ranging from doctor discovery to medicine delivery, lab testing, and serves as a repository of digital medical records which can be provisioned on-demand at hospitals and clinics, creating interoperability and reducing healthcare costs and time.
“After that if you need nursing care or assistance, we arrange that at patient’s home and in case you need to be referred to a hospital, we can make referrals on competitive rates.”
According to MedIQ, they have 7,000 doctors on the platform which include general practitioners and specialists from 32 specialties. MedIQ platform operates as a marketplace for healthcare.
Customers can search and connect with doctors of their choice on the platform and they can order medicines from a list of leading pharmacies listed on the platform, which are fulfilled using third-party logistics providers. The patients can also order tests from a list of laboratories.
MedIQ provides the platform free of cost to its clients and makes money by charging healthcare service providers like doctors, pharmacies and labs.
MedIQ’s competitors like the aforementioned Ailaaj, Sehat Kahani and DoctHERs also serve B2B clients but Dr Saira says that that their moat is secured because of exclusive agreements with clients which restricts entry of competition for sometime.
While MedIQ also operates a B2C model to provide tech-enabled healthcare for the mass market through MedIQ app, Dr Saira says that the customer-facing model is small at present and their prime focus is to consolidate presence in the B2B segment.
With the fund raise, medIQ plans to further invest in its tech infrastructure to provide holistic virtual care to companies and patients, based on development of AI and Machine Learning tools using high-quality patient data. The company plans to build out its services across 20 cities of Pakistan and expand regionally, besides spending funds on customer acquisition.