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Monday, May 25, 2020
Home Startup Meet Vezeeta: The MENA startup that has reshaped the healthcare industry with...

Meet Vezeeta: The MENA startup that has reshaped the healthcare industry with technology

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Vezeeta is the leading digital healthcare booking platform and practice management software in MENA and they are pioneering the shift to automated physician, clinic and hospital bookings making healthcare easily accessible in the region. With over 150,000 verified reviews, patients are able to search, compare, and book the best doctors in just 2 minutes.



In addition to patients being able to book with doctors, doctors can provide their patients with seamless healthcare experiences through their clinic management software and currently operates in Egypt, Levant and Saudi.

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Vezeeta’s Exciting Journey

Vezeeta started off as “Dr Bridge” in 2012 by building medical records through its EMR (Electronic Medical Records) solution. Amir Barsoum and Ahmed Badr, the founding team, developed the product and went to the market to sell. From every 10 doctors they tried selling the product to, 8 signed. Three months later, they realized that nobody was using it. Doctors were quickly abandoning the platform as they did not have an incentive to integrate digital patient records into their daily practices.

The co-founders decided then to introduce a patient engagement platform. Unfortunately, the product only yielded a 5% month over month (MoM) growth rate so they pivoted once again this time launching a practice calendar management system. Again, the product did not work. It was back to the drawing board.

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In 2014, the co-founders decided to approach the market from a different angle. Same vision, different entry point, they built a digital healthcare platform that would connect patients to doctors through a simple booking process. In late 2014, Vezeeta was launched – the first online booking platform in the region. The product showed an impressive 20% MoM growth and today has become the company’s flagship product that is revolutionizing MENA’s healthcare industry.

Starting with 2 co-founders and 12 employees in one country, Vezeeta (the company was re-branded in early 2015) has now grown to employ over 175 employees in 4 different countries and has more than 5,000 doctors on its platform serving almost 1.5 Mn patients in the MENA region.

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How the co-founders met, came up with the idea, and who they are

Amir BarsoumThe idea come up from Amir Barsoum (Right side on picture) and Ahmed Badr (left side on picture) were introduced to each other in 2011 through a work connection. The idea started around wanting to build something that included a SaaS (Software as a Service) solution. It was a very exciting proposition for both and after months of vigorous reading and research, together they came up with the solution of building EMR for doctors. The founding team landed their very first investment with the Technology Development Fund (TDF) in 2012.

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Before starting Vezeeta, Amir was a Management Consultant at McKinsey & Company where he worked with a number of Healthcare and FMCGs across public and private sectors in Europe and MENA. He also spent some time with AstraZeneca leading their strategy team in MENA. Amir holds an MBA from the American University of Cairo, Bachelor of Pharmacy from Ain Shams University and an Executive Education Certificate from Harvard Business School about scaling startups. He is also an Endeavor Entrepreneur and on the Board of Directors of Endeavor Egypt and a Board Member of Entrepreneurs‘ Organization.

Ahmed Badr is a seasoned executive with more than 20 years of technology experience. Ahmed co-founded ITWorx and led its software services delivery to become one of the biggest software services firms in the Middle East. He grew and led an 800-strong engineering organization for more than 10 years with solid revenue growth exceeding USD 25Mn annually.

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Our Valuable Customers

Vezeeta strives to dominate every aspect of the healthcare industry and their goal is to strengthen the bridge that the platform has already built between patients and different healthcare providers through new products and features, that will ultimately make Vezeeta the go-to-marketplace for quality healthcare services in MENA. This happens by addressing all key healthcare stakeholders starting from patients, to healthcare providers (doctors in clinics, polyclinics and hospitals), to healthcare payers (insurance companies and TPAs).

Vezeeta solutions are designed to address real and major problems that patients face when trying to access doctors in the region. Choosing the right doctor is a tough decision and patients can spend significant time and effort researching to get the best medical service. The real challenge however comes from the actual appointment booking process where patients can spend up to 4 to 5 hours on the phone just trying to get an appointment. Vezeeta has managed to overcome all these pains through verified patient reviews for all doctors on its platform, along with listing consultation fees, expected waiting times, locations and the ability to book on the same day.

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“We empower patients through high tech product features that help to provide seamless user experiences”, said the team.

 

Fundraising History

To date, they have raised an exceptional USD 11 Mn from regional and international investors placing Vezeeta as one of the top financed startups in Egypt. The first funding round took place in 2012 which was led by Egypt’s Technology and Development Fund (TDF). In 2014, The second financing round took place and this was led by Silicon Badia (Jordan) as well as TDF. In October 2016, they had closed their last funding round welcoming onboard BECO Capital (UAE), Vostok New Ventures (Sweden) and Endeavor Catalyst (USA).

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Vezeeta’s Advice to Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Inspired by its own journey, Vezeeta advises entrepreneurs to never accept average growth and pivot until they reach exponential growth. Talent is essential; always hire the best talent; they will build the company. Always fundraise – never say no to money. And finally, build a culture that you like, not one that you read about.

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