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Startups

Singapore health tech mClinica to raise $20m as coronavirus spurs growth

Startup forms supply chains linking makers to wholesalers, retailers in Indonesia, Philippines

mClinica is present in Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

JAKARTA -- mClinica, a Singapore-headquartered health tech startup focused on the pharmaceutical industry, is planning to raise $20 million in its Series B round, just months after closing a bridge deal with U.S.-based Susquehanna International Group, a company executive told DealStreetAsia.

The bridge round was closed just before the coronavirus crisis struck the globe, crippling investments across sectors.

The funds raised in the bridge round was used to accelerate growth in Indonesia, said Farouk Meralli, founder and CEO of mClinica. The company is also in markets such as Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia.

Meralli said mClinica has grown significantly over the past few months as health care needs in the region surged during the virus outbreak.

The company raised $6.3 million in its Series A round in 2017 from MDI Ventures, Patamar Capital, Global Innovation Fund and Endeavor Catalyst.

"Opportunity in health care is considerable not only during the COVID-19 crisis but after that as well, as general health care expenditure is rising," said Meralli.

mClinica operates platforms that reportedly connects as many as 40,000 pharmacies to patients across Southeast Asia. Away from the retail front, it has also built platforms that connect pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers.

"We are looking at providing even more solutions around the pharmacy and further connecting the supply chain digitally," said Meralli.

Health care has been one of the few sectors to grow during the coronavirus crisis, particularly in the pharmacies and telemedicine sectors, among others.

"The COVID-19 situation has greatly accelerated our growth... Our company has seen revenues grow by 50% during in past few months, with our user engagement being up by 60%,” said Meralli.

Apart from working with governments, it has also forged links with academic institutions such as Johns Hopkins University in the U.S. and donor agencies like the U.S. Agency for International Development and Global Innovation Fund to combat COVID-19 by using their pharmacy networks.

The company is now ramping up recruitment. "We are actually hiring considerably at the moment and continue to pursue growth," said Meralli.

With unprecedented demand for medicines over the past few months, it has been a significant challenge for the industry to keep up. Manufacturing output has fallen due to lockdowns and people are working less hours, thereby impacting logistics and supply chains.

Among other deals closed in the health care sector, Singapore-based telehealth app Doctor Anywhere recently raised $27 million from a group of investors including Malaysian hospital operator IHH Healthcare.

For the original story from DealStreetAsia, click here.

DealStreetAsia is a financial news site based in Singapore that focuses on corporate investment activity in Southeast Asia and India. Nikkei recently announced the acquisition of a majority stake in the company.

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