Vezeeta, a healthcare platform operating in the Middle East and Africa, has raised a $40 Million Series D funding round led by UAE-based Gulf Capital, alongside further investment from existing Riyadh-based investor Saudi Technology Ventures (STV), which previously led Vezeeta’s Series C round in September 2018. Vezeeta’s other investors include BECO Capital, Silicon Badia, Vostok New Ventures, Crescent Enterprises’ CE-Ventures and Endeavour Catalyst. Prior to this raise, the company had raised $23M, so this latest news takes its total to $63M. Alvaro Abella, a director at Gulf Capital, joins the board.
It now plans to roll out new products, such as an online pharmacy, as well as ‘tele-health’ services across its existing footprint and new markets.
This is one of the largest funding rounds of any tech startup in the Middle East and Africa to date. The startup has become something of a MENA success story by allowing patients to effectively see Uber-style ratings for healthcare providers, thus encouraging the providers to improve their services. It puts the power in the hands of patients (vs providers) by giving them the ability to search, book, rate, and review healthcare providers.
U.S.-based ZocDoc, which has raised $223M, has done something similar, moving away from a B2B towards a B2C transactional-based model. Other competitors globally include Practo, Doctolib (which raised $266.7M) and Docplanner.
Launched initially in Cairo in 2012 as a sort of “Uber for Ambulances,” Vezeeta has gradually reversed into Middle Eastern healthcare systems to provide a free of charge medical search platform for end-users by integrating information about medical practices and doctors’ individual schedules. Currently operating in 50 cities across Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Lebanon, the platform generates 4 Million annual appointments, and claims to have tripled in size year over year.
In a statement, Amir Barsoum, founder and CEO of Vezeeta said: “Gulf Capital provides us the perfect synergy for our future plans to diversify and expand our product portfolio on a global scale… Leveraging our technology, we have helped patients tap into the power of choice, and the power of information, to access the kind of healthcare that our users deserve.” He said the company plans to use the cash to expand its product portfolio to several regional markets.
Dr Karim El Solh, Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Capital said: “Empowering patients and their families through technology to give them better access to healthcare services and more meaningful and manageable relationships with their healthcare providers has never been more important. We were impressed with the work that Amir and his team were doing and are excited to be working with Vezeeta on its next phase of growth.”
Ahmad AlNaimi, senior principal at STV said: “The progress the company has achieved since our investment, especially in Saudi, is incredible. We are thrilled to double down on our position and to welcome Gulf Capital to the table.”
Vezeeta reaches around 4 million patients across 4 countries, enabling them to search, book and review doctors and medical services. It also provides a SaaS solution to more than 30,000 healthcare providers.