Bangladeshi healthtech start-up Arogga has closed a round of $1.3 million seed funding from Silicon Valley venture capital firm Hyper, also backed by Ratio Ventures, Sketchnote Partners, SRB Ventures, Demand Curve's CEO Julian Shapiro, IDLC VC Fund, and a few other Silicon Valley super angels.
The round brings the total financing raised by Arogga to $1.6million to date, Arogga said in a statement, adding that the fund injection would help bolster its technology, product, and operations in order to grow and scale up for the aimed disruptive solutions to the existing medicine market problems in the country.
"We want to spend on infrastructure expansion and invest in technology to further expand our services nationwide," said Yawar Mehboob, co-founder and chief financial officer of Arogga.
"We want to make an impact in the healthcare sector to solve the problem of counterfeit drugs in Bangladesh. Our goal is to provide access to affordable and genuine medicine conveniently to everyone," said another Co-founder Rosina Mazumder, who also serves as the chief executive officer.
Bangladesh's pharmaceutical market, estimated to be at least $3.5 billion in size and set to grow to $6 billion in 2025, is fragmented amid inefficient and expensive distribution and supply chain issues. The situation is further complicated by the fact that over 20% of medicines in pharmacies are counterfeit, the statement said.
Founded in 2020 by Fahad Hossain, Rosina Mazumder, Shamim Hasan, and Yawar Mehboob to make an impact through home delivery of genuine medicines Arogga has seen 30% month-on-month growth in just 12 months and has grown the gross merchandise value by 24 times as it has delivered over 7 million medicines across Bangladesh.
The pandemic has highlighted the importance of technology in solving fundamental problems within the healthcare market, attracting billions of dollars of investment in healthcare start-ups across the globe.
The Arogga app and web solution allow customers to simply upload their prescriptions, and the medicines are delivered directly to their door. All medicines are available at the cheapest possible price, thus making it affordable for everyone, said Arogga.
Hyper Co-founder Shahed Khan said, "Arogga has a unique opportunity to significantly improve the pharmaceutical experience for patients in Bangladesh, leading to better treatment adherence and patient outcomes. While we've made investments in the South Asian region, we're excited that Arogga is our first bet in the emerging Bangladeshi market because of our high conviction in the Co-founders with their ambitious vision."
Fahad Hossain, Arogga Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, said, "The flow of fake medicines in the supply chains cannot be addressed easily with conventional policing. We need a holistic approach to effectively reorganise the supply chains. Arogga procures medicines directly from manufacturers and no third parties are involved. This is how we're maintaining 100% authenticity of our stock."
"We're very excited to have been backed by some of the top investors from Silicon Valley, especially to be the first Bangladeshi startup to be part of the Hyper program," said Rosina Mazumder.
Arogga was successfully selected and funded as part of Season 2022's Hyper program, which kicked off in San Francisco last month. Each start-up goes through a four-week founder program, and gets access to Hyper's special partners, including Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), AngelList, Sequoia Capital, The Twenty Minute VC Podcast, and Product Hunt.
Hyper is a new kind of venture firm and founder program, inspired by the Product Hunt community, and backed by industry-leading partners like Andreessen Horowitz and Sequoia Capital.
The Hyper team is led by, Shahed Khan (CEO)- previously President and co-founder of Loom; Josh Buckley (GP)- Buckley Ventures, previously CEO of Product Hunt, CEO and founder of Mino Games and Malika Cantor (Partnerships) - previously Community and Programs at Sequoia and Google.
The South Asian region has created several unicorns in the healthtech space, and Arogga hopes to follow in their footsteps.