SwipeRxa platform for pharmaceutical professionals, said Tuesday it has secured a $27 million Series B round led by Indonesia’s MDI Ventures, involving the Gates Foundation, Johnson & Johnson Impact Ventures, Susquehanna International Group and existing backers.
Pharmacies in Southeast Asia were largely fragmented mom-and-pop stores that operated in silos when the company — originally known as mClinica — was founded in Singapore in 2014. The region had “seen a lot of innovation for patients through a proliferation of telemedicine apps and even innovations for physicians, but the pharmacy and its staff were largely unaddressed,” SwipeRx CEO Farouk Merallic said.
Today, he claims, SwipeRx has transformed and digitized the pharmacy industry, becoming a one-stop platform for pharmacists to carry out all their day-to-day tasks from education to procurement to inventory financing in Southeast Asia.
On the education front, he says the company provides online accredited education, drug information, job opportunities, discussion boards and everything else the pharmacist community needs to advance professionally and better serve patients.
To that end, the SwipeRx app allows users to stay up to date with the latest healthcare and drug information and access free continuing professional development (CPD) educational modules, which are mandatory in many Southeast Asian countries. (Meralli maintains that SwipeRx is now effectively the largest regional provider of online accredited education for pharmacy professionals.)
The app also helps pharmacists to search for new vacancies or to post vacancies. Like LinkedIn, the app invites users who aren’t necessarily about to change jobs to expand their network by connecting with their pharmacy colleagues. Meralli told businesstraverse.com that it’s easiest to think of SwipeRx as a LinkedIn meets Amazon for pharmacies.
About its purchasing power, Meralli said that by forming a single purchasing network — one with scale — the company has been able to negotiate better prices and launch B2B commerce in the same app. SwipeRXs The community-driven trading model allows small pharmacies in particular to capitalize on the power of that broad network by accessing the best prices and better ensuring that drugs are available to them and their patients, he said. .
According to the company, SwipeRX will use the new capital to scale its growth in Southeast Asia, expand its B2B e-commerce logistics network and expand its team.
Sure, SwipeRx — which raised $6.3 million in Series A funding in 2017 — has the kind of momentum investors like.
The 400-strong organization claims that more than 235,000 pharmacy professionals and 45,000 pharmacies use the app in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia.
It also says that more than 8,000 retail pharmacies in Indonesia alone — accounting for about 25% of all pharmacies — are on SwipeRx, with more than 5,000 users joining the digital purchasing network and transacting on the B2B platform.
“Our growth as a company has been exponential and in recent years we have been able to further develop our vision to build the largest pharmacy network in the region,” Meralli told businesstraverse.com. “This funding round reaffirms our commitment to disrupting this highly fragmented industry while improving public health by supporting the pharmacy channel.”
Donald Wihardja, CEO of MDI Ventures said: “We see great potential and promise in SwipeRx’s platform as it strives to meet the challenges of pharmacies, especially in Indonesia, through different players – big and small – all under one platform together.”