EGYPT – Egyptian healthtech startup Chefaa has scooped up US$5.25 million in a new funding round to deepen its reach in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Chefaa, which operates in 8 Saudi Arabian cities, will use the newly acquired funding to support its efforts to scale all models designed to digitize the supply chain and empower industry stakeholders.

On top of this, the healthtech plans to use the new capital to accelerate its ambitious objective to be the first one-stop-health solution for an end-to-end healthcare experience.

In a new LinkedIn article, Doaa Aref, Chief Executive Officer of Chefaa, confirmed that the Egyptian healthtech startup continues to prioritize market needs in the face of continuous challenges.

This market-focused approach has resulted in designing new services and features with our eyes on our mission and vision. We focus on measuring Chefaa’s impact as we grow,” divulged Doaa Aref.

The Chefaa CEO further appreciated new and existing investors for their collective passion and belief in the healthtech’s vision and mission.

The main mission for Chefaa remains leading the safe digital transformation of healthcare and the supply chain in Africa and the Middle East.

Consequently, the strategic investment of US$5.25 million from new and existing investors comes shortly after Chefaa’s successful launch of operations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

This financial boost was co-led by South Africa’s Newtown Partners, Japan’s Global Brain, USA’s GMS Capital Partners LLC, Nigeria’s Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures, alongside Japan’s M3, Inc.

In his address, Yezan Haddadin, CEO of GMS Capital Partners LLC, expressed his conviction that Chefaa is uniquely positioned to transform the retail pharmaceutical supply chain in Africa.

Chefaa has made significant strides in improving healthcare accessibility in Egypt, and we are particularly excited about their entry into the Saudi market,” said Yezan Haddadin.

He highlighted that the follow-up investment underscores the investor’s confidence in Chefaa’s innovative strategies to reshape the future of healthcare delivery in the region.

Since our initial investment, Chefaa has consistently demonstrated a commitment to innovation and skilfully leveraged data to forge impactful partnerships with large pharmaceutical players,” he added.

Expansion plans unveiled

With the support of its investors, Chefaa is looking to unlock significant growth opportunities for its patient-centric pharmacy benefits platform to grow its geographic reach in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Founded in 2017 by Dr. Doaa Aref and Dr. Rasha Rady, Chefaa is an e-pharmacy platform that provides an end-to-end healthcare experience.

The female-led healthtech enhances the quality of life of users by allowing them to easily order, schedule, and refill recurring non-insured and insured prescriptions.

In addition to more than 800,000 mobile app downloads, Chefaa connects over 1 million monthly active users to more than 1,100 pharmacies across Egypt and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Commenting on the new funding round, Llew Claasen, Managing Partner at Newtown Partners, said: “This marks our follow-on investment in Chefaa via DP World’s Innovation Venture Fund.”

Llew Claasen reflected that Chefaa’s entrepreneurs are making excellent progress in the massive opportunity to improve healthcare access in the Gulf Cooperation Council and sub-Saharan Africa by digitizing the healthcare user interface.

Notably, Chefaa’s latest funding effort comes a few months after Egyptian startups Paymob and Chefaa announced a partnership to power the digital transformation of pharmaceutical payments in Egypt.

The partnership between the two venture-funded startups will digitize pharmaceutical payments by powering seamless and secure online card payments as well as point-of-sale payments upon delivery.

Chefaa customers can now access several BNPL payment methods through Paymob’s gateway, which helps elevate the financial burden of up-front payment for medicine and healthcare products.

For his part, Hiroto Sorita, Director of Investment Group, Global Brain Corporation, said: “As we have seen solid growth in this tough business climate since 2022, we truly believe that Chefaa is becoming the uppermost patient-centric service provider in the region.”

Hiroto lauded Global Brain’s decision to make an additional investment, adding that the investors are prepared to continuously back the Chefaa team to significantly enhance the accessibility of medical services.

Long-term growth opportunities

For his part, Ryosuke (Rio) Yamawaki, Partner at Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures, emphasized the firm’s focus on investing in category-defining African start-ups.

With their wide-ranging product offerings serving multiple stakeholders, Chefaa is poised to become a critical business infrastructure for pharmaceutical supply chains in Egypt and the broader Gulf region,” stated Ryosuke Yamawaki.

Bearing this in mind, Chefaa’s strategic funding for Saudi expansion comes at a critical time when revenue in Saudi Arabia’s digital health market is projected to reach US$909.60 million in 2023.

According to Statista, the revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2023-2028) of 7.47%, resulting in a projected market volume of US$1,304.00 million by 2028.

The digital health market is experiencing significant growth due to the increasing demand for healthcare solutions that provide convenience, accessibility, and improved patient outcomes.

To this end, Chefaa will deploy the fresh funds to expand access to comprehensive essential healthcare solutions for both individuals and entities across the Kingdom.

In recognition of its dedication to users’ experience and boosting compliance to treatment, Chefaa has been honored with VivaTech’s first Africa-Health Tech Award 2022 among others.

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