TheInternational Finance Corporation (IFC)—the private arm of the World Bank—has invested $1 million in Egyptian start-up, Vezeeta, a digital healthcare platform in the MENA region.
The new investment is part of Vezeeta’s recent Series C financing round of $12 million that was announced in September 2018 and led by STV—one of the largest VC funds in the region—along with existing investors BECO Capital, Vostok New Ventures, Silicon Badia and new investor Crescent Enterprises’ CE-Ventures from the UAE.
The latest round brings the total funding injected into Vezeeta to around $23 million. The fresh financing will help Vezeeta to continue its regional expansion and make further investments in new products.
Founded in 2012 by Amir Barsoum and Ahmed Badr, Vezeeta provides patients with the ability to search, compare, book and engage with doctors in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Lebanon. It also provides innovative practice management solutions to providers in hospitals and clinics to manage medical appointments and patient data.
Today, the start-up has managed two million appointments per year, with more than 10,000 doctors and healthcare providers subscribed to their platform serving more than 2.5 million patients in the region.
“IFC is a global power that will not only help fuel our growth but also bridge us to an incredible global network,” Amir Barsoum, founder and CEO of Vezeeta stated.
The private arm of the World Bank has invested over $100 million in startups, venture funds and accelerators across the MENA region in recent years and IFC investments in Egypt hit a record $1.2 billion (including funds mobilized from other investors) during the 2018 fiscal year.
In Egypt, IFC has invested in accelerator, Flat6Labs, and Algebra Ventures, a venture-capital fund. The institution’s aim is to create an ecosystem that supports start-ups like Vezeeta, which have the potential to make life dramatically better for the people of this region.
“Startups like Vezeeta have the power to drive innovation in the Middle East and Africa,” said Philippe Le Houérou, IFC’s CEO. “Entrepreneurs across the African continent have enormous creativity and drive—and they’re using the power of new technologies to tackle the region’s most formidable social and economic challenges.”
While Adel Khalil, CTO of Vezeeta confirms that the startup will continue 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.
Vezeeta was ranked third in Forbes Middle East’s Top 100 Startups In The Arab World 2018.
According to a study conducted by Wamda Research Lab, Egypt and the UAE had the most health startups in MENA, followed by Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan and Saudi Arabia as of 2016. Mobile health and connected health solutions are the most prevalent forms of digital health activity coming from startups in the region to date.
MENA governments have spent massively in healthcare over the recent years, with investment tripling from $30 billion in 2003 to $96 billion in 2013. Healthcare spending is projected to reach $141 billion by 2020, which should help expand the market for health startups.
Global digital health market was valued at approximately $122.6 billion in 2017 and is expected to generate revenue of around $423.1 billion by the end of 2024, according to Zion Market Research.