Vietnamese Startup Thuocsi.vn, An Online Pharma Marketplace Secures US$500K Seed Capital
Vietnam-based startup, Thuocsi.vn, pharma distribution marketplace operated by BuyMed, announced a seed financing of US$500,000 led by Singapore’s Cocoon Capital and VietCapital Ventures. The startup seeks to simplify the country’s healthcare distribution.
According to BuyMed, doctors, pharmacists, and hospitals in Vietnam waste a lot of time researching and sourcing for drugs in a system that needs improvement, which affects the time that they are supposed to be dedicated to caring for patients.
As a business-to-business (B2B) marketplace, Thuocsi.vn connects healthcare practices with numerous verified, licensed distributors, which provides automatic matching of orders and end-to-end logistics. The platform emphasises on transparency and provides real-time pricing, detailed information on active ingredients in the various products, and a communications network used for important updates like product recalls. So far, Thuocsi.vn claimed that it has connected over 2,000 healthcare providers with verified suppliers to transform the current inefficient distribution system.
BuyMed was founded in 2018 with a mission to simplify healthcare distribution in Vietnam and the rest of Southeast Asia.
Peter Nguyen, CEO and co-founder of BuyMed commented in an interview with Thailand Startup news, “The healthcare industry in Southeast Asia is highly fragmented and as a result, almost 80 per cent of pharmacies resort to purchasing from unlicensed agents. This increases the risk of counterfeit and simply the wrong drugs being delivered. We feel it is a waste of resources that a pharmacist on average spends one full day per week ordering supplies. Thuocsi.vn reduces this to minutes.”
Hoang Nguyen, Chief Product Officer and co-founder of BuyMed, described the effectiveness of what it has achieved with Thuocsi.vn to the growing penetration of smartphones and familiarity with e-commerce.“The business models can be implemented in emerging markets like Vietnam within a fraction of the time by utilising technology and e-commerce marketplaces. Consumers and patients will receive higher quality healthcare at a more affordable price which is significant in developing countries where the GDP per capita is lower and out-of-pocket healthcare expenditure remains high”
Thuocsi.vn aims to add other healthcare verticals including cosmetics, medical devices, supplements, and medical services to become a one-stop marketplace for healthcare practices in emerging markets.
BuyMed was awarded ‘Best Startup’ at Seedstars Vietnam 2018 and it was also one of the nine competitors in this year’s Echelon TOP100 in Vietnam. It plans to develop a country-wide logistics network so that orders can be delivered cost-effectively to healthcare practices in even the most remote villages in Vietnam. The company is also looking at neighbouring Cambodia to expand its operations.