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Pakistan’s telemedicine startup Sehat Kahani raises $1 million

Pakistan’s telemedicine startup Sehat Kahani raises $1 million

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A Karachi-based telemedicine startup by two female doctors, Sara Saeed Khurram and Iffat Zafar Aga, Sehat Kahani has raised $1 million in a Pre-Series A round, it announced yesterday. 

Investors: The investment came from Islamic Development Bank, 10Pearls Ventures, Mentors Fund, Singapore-based Korean Impact Fund, and Impact Investment Exchange. KASB Securities, Din Group, and some angels also joined the round. 

About the startup: It was founded in 2017 as a network to connect home-based female doctors to patients through telemedicine-enabled brick and mortar health clinics. In a country like Pakistan, where a lot of female doctors – some due to societal norms while others due to family commitments – are unable to practice medicine at a hospital or clinic, are connected with patients in underserved communities through a network of nurse-assisted health clinics. 

The startup has since turned into a telemedicine platform offering on-demand health services to patients across the country (and beyond) through web and mobile apps, as well as its network of offline clinics, through its 5,000 female doctors. It boasts to have offered over 350,000 consultations since its launch. 

Corporate clients: In addition to serving patients directly, Sehat Kahani also works with corporate clients who offer its on-demand health services to their employees (and their families). Its clients include companies from the banking, insurance, telecom, media, pharmaceutical, and FMCS sector. 

Statement of founders: CEO and co-founder, Dr. Sara Saeed Khurram said in a statement that the startup has grown by 425 percent in the last 12 months, “The trust by investors has further reflected the massive success of Sehat Kahani. We are also proud of our government partnerships during covid-19 that helped people get access to online doctors for their day-to-day ailments as well as our coverage for otherwise compromised ICUs in Pakistan.” 

Dr. Iffat Zafar, the co-founder and COO of Sehat Kahani, said, “We are absolutely grateful to all the investors for trusting Sehat Kahani and becoming a part of our journey. After successful engagement with corporates, we are excited to replicate our existing successful business model towards another challenging territory of taking the solution to the mass consumer retail market in 2021 and beyond.” 

Competition in Pakistan: Sehat Kahani’s competition in Pakistan includes DoctHers, a similar startup that Sara Saeed Khurram had co-founded in 2013 (and left in 2017), AugmentCare, and doctor booking platforms like Oladoc and Marham that have expanded into telemedicine.

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