[Egypt] e-health startup Vezeeta receives $1m funding from IFC
11-12-2018 13:18:00 | by: Pie Kamau | hits: 5202 | Tags:

Egyptian e-health startup Vezeeta has raised $ 1 million in additional funding from IFC to add up to $ 12 million in Series C financing.

Started in 2015, Vezeeta provides patients with the ability to search, compare, book, and engage with over 10,000 doctors in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Lebanon. It also helps providers in hospitals and clinics manage medical appointments and patient data. It has managed to book three million bookings in the region and served 2.5 million patients.

In Vezeeta's initial model, their doctor's performance. In the new model, patients are allowed to post ratings on different aspects of their doctors' visits, including the cleanliness of the office, the staff's friendliness, and waiting times.

"Suddenly, doctors have started to give feedback on Vezeeta's service," said  Vezeeta's CEO Amir Barsoum.

In September, Vezeeta announced it had raised a US $ 12 million Series C funding round, which was letterly the largest single round raised by Egyptian tech startup until ridesharing startup Swvl topped it in November. It has now secured an additional US $ 1 million from IFC to help it continue with its expansion drive.

"You are a consumer in every single industry, except in health care, where you are a patient. This in itself tells you that you are unempowered, and they are weak in the decision-making process in such an industry, "Barsoum said. "Our role is to empower patients through data, through knowledge. Empowering them to access health care, but also empowering them in their journey with health care, "he added.

After many months of fast and steady growth, Vezeeta is getting used to 20 employees and 500 registered doctors to one that today employs 200 people in Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia and more than 200,000 users with 10,000 doctors having subscribed.

"IFC is a global power that will not only help our growth, but also bridge us to an incredible global network," said Amir Barsoum, Vezeeta's founder and chief executive officer (CEO).

The investment comes as part of IFC's broader efforts to support entrepreneurship and expand financial access to startups to create new markets. Last week it  selected 100 startups  from across the continent to take part in its Next Startups initiative.

"Startups like Vezeeta have the power to drive innovation in the Middle East and Africa," said IFC CEO Philippe Le Houérou. "Entrepreneurs across the African continent have enormous creativity and drive - and they're using the most formidable social and economic challenges."

Vezeeta chief technology officer (CTO) Adel Khalil said the start-up would be continuous to empower millions of patients in the region through data and new products in healthcare, ensuring that patients and healthcare providers are seamlessly integrated and engaged.

Barsoum advised startups in early stages that they should be able to "pivot" to solve pressing problems. "Dance until you spot on the dance floor," he said. Secondly, hire well. "Hire the best people, truly, be ruthless about that. Hire people who know more than you do, "he concluded.