BUYMED, the Vietnamese startup behind pharma distribution marketplace thuocsi.vn, has raised US$2.5 million in pre-Series A funds. The funding round was led by Sequoia Capital India's accelerator programme Surge and Japan-based Genesia Ventures, with participation from existing investor Singapore-based Cocoon Capital.
Thuocsi.vn serves over 7,000 pharmacies, clinics and hospitals across Vietnam, after recording a 250 per cent growth, or 3.5 times, in six months. The platform has also expanded its network of suppliers, distributors and manufacturers to more than 700 partners.
The funds will be used for BuyMed’s expansion in both Vietnam and the rest of South-east Asia. The startup is aiming to streamline a US$65 billion pharmaceutical market plagued by grey market channels, substandard safety and complicated distribution channels.
"Currently, 80 per cent of pharmacies, clinics and hospitals in Vietnam rely on informal sales representatives to order products. Logging in to thuocsi.vn provides a reliable, safe, and efficient solution to evaluate and order products online, empowering small healthcare businesses to become more resilient," said Peter Nguyen, chief executive officer and co-founder of BuyMed.
In the last 12 months, the startup tripled its annual revenue and saw a 13 times increase in monthly orders. To accelerate this growth, the fresh funds will be used to hire new talent in mobile development, supply chain and fulfilment, and to expand the team into Hanoi to establish thuocsi.vn as a national distribution platform.
BuyMed also plans to add new product lines including cosmetics, medical devices, supplements and medical services to become a one-stop marketplace for healthcare practices.
The company said it is helping partners diversify their sales and distribution channels on the platform amid the Covid-19 crisis. In the past three months, the platform has seen a strong increase in demand for products by pharmacies and clinics.