Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Bangladeshi startup Doctor Koi scores $500,000 in seed funding to expand its countrywide network

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Doctor Koi, a health tech startup in Bangladesh, has received $500,000 in seed funding in an investment round led by Verge HealthTech Fund, an early-stage health technology venture capital fund. The round was also joined by some industry and local investors.

WHAT IT DOES

The company’s flagship product Digital Rx, a prescription writing software, is being used by over 900 active doctors who are generating more than 350,000 digital prescriptions monthly. 

Its platform also offers other services, such as online consultation, appointment management, and content management and marketing.

WHAT IT’S FOR

Doctor Koi will use its seed funding to reach more customers in Bangladesh and develop new value-added services. It plans to bring its digital prescription tool to 10,000 more doctors and over one million patients in the country “in the coming years.”

The funding will also help bring in more doctors to its network for online consultation services. At present, it has over 2,000 doctor clinics in its network that have since issued 10 million digital prescriptions.

WHY IT MATTERS

Doctor Koi, which translates to “Doctor Where,” was initially intended to be a doctor booking platform. Its founders, Sadman Soeb Adib and Areek Zillur, decided to focus on developing a digital prescription tool due to the fact that one of the primary causes of treatment failures in Bangladesh is the immense amount of medical errors from handwritten prescriptions. They cited a local survey that found most prescriptions in certain urban health facilities were written illegibly. 

THE LARGER TREND

Doctor Koi is envisioned to be a “foundational layer for a low-cost, tech-enabled distributed primary care-focused health system.” The healthcare system in Bangladesh has been described as analogue, fragmented and short-staffed, perpetuating massive inefficiencies. “Even [something] as basic as a doctor’s clinic” is not digitally equipped, according to Joseph Mocanu, a partner at Verge Healthtech Fund.

With a more enabling environment for digital health innovations today, the digital health market in Bangladesh is projected to be worth $371.5 million this year, according to Statista. It is expected to grow to $631.6 million in value by 2026, growing at a 14.19% CAGR.

Recently, Swedish fintech and health company Milvik Bima is among foreign players to launch a mobile health app in the country.

ON THE RECORD

“We believe Doctor Koi has tremendous potential with the type of products and services that are curated for the local market needs while offering the most advanced and scalable technologies. We are a very product-centric company that allowed us to understand the customers very deeply from the very initial days. Our customers are the biggest driver [of] our innovation and continuous improvements,” said CEO and cofounder Sadman Soeb Adib.

“With big market opportunities to penetrate into an untapped market in such a growing economy, we believe the company can achieve much scale and improve the healthcare ecosystem for [the] 160 million population in Bangladesh and even beyond the globe while maximising the stakeholders’ return,” he added.



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