14:00 | 13/03/2022 Companies
(VEN) - Launched in 2018, BuyMed operates thuocsi.vn, a pharmaceutical distribution platform serving thousands of pharmacies and clinics across the country.
BuyMed was founded by Peter Nguyen, Hoang Nguyen and Vu Vuong. Hoang Nguyen co-founded his first healthcare platform, Dentalaborate, in California to help dentists produce crowns in an hour, while Peter Nguyen worked as a consultant on different projects related to diabetes, medical devices, and dialysis for clients like Eli Lilly, Roche, and Siemens.
They found that there are no major multi-brand distributors in Vietnam, meaning that most pharmaceutical manufacturers and brands need to set up their own networks and sell their products through intermediaries. This makes the process of getting medications and other pharmaceutical supplies to healthcare providers highly fragmented. The thuocsi.vn platform aims to streamline the Vietnamese healthcare distribution system.
BuyMed has specifically identified two competitive advantages - a large stock-keeping unit (SKU) and low prices. To accomplish the first goal, it has to convince large manufacturers and distributors in Vietnam to cooperate with them. To accomplish the second goal, it must take care of customers in remote areas as good prices come with bulk purchases.
BuyMed aims to build a healthcare ecosystem where pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors, practitioners and patients interact with each other through technology for a better experience, higher quality healthcare and lower costs. BuyMed verifies suppliers on its platform, improving safety and reducing the risk of medications making their way into the unofficial market. Currently, the platform has 700 verified suppliers, distributors and manufacturers serving over 7,000 healthcare providers.
BuyMed also cooperates with other healthcare startups, such as Jio Healthe, eDoctor, Docter Anywhere and Loship, to diversify its revenue channel. Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, BuyMed expanded its platform to allow more of its partners to sell online, and added safety measures like frequent warehouse and office sanitization and a no-contact drop-off and cash collection system.
In the domestic market, thuocsi.vn operates two distribution centers in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi with the ability to supply products to 63 provinces and cities. It is processing about 30,000 orders per month and supplying more than 13,000 pharmacies in Vietnam. It has also opened a delivery center in Dong Nai Province to assist in processing more orders from southern provinces.
BuyMed is mulling two options for further development. One is to focus on distribution, while the other is to focus on building an ecosystem by opening up other services for pharmacies and clinics, such as microfinance, connecting pharmacies with doctors, and continuous training.
BuyMed has received an investment of nearly US$9 million in a Series A round. Leading this round is the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s Smilegate Investment with participation from the B Capital Group and existing investors, such as Cocoon Capital, Genesia Ventures, Sequoia Capital from India and Nextrans. As of now, BuyMed has successfully raised a total of US$12.8 million. In the pre-Series A round announced last year, this startup pulled in an investment of US$2.5 million. The new capital will be used to grow BuyMed’s distribution network in Vietnam and other parts of Southeast Asia.
|Project 844 on facilitating the national startup ecosystem until 2025 aims to develop the innovative start-up market. The Newspaper of Industry and Trade has been acting as a bridge to support these start-ups, help them expand markets and contribute to their efficiency.|