MENA’s AI-powered HealthTech Altibbi has raised the highest disclosed funding round in MENA-based HealthTech to date, in order to turbo-charge growth and footprint in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and expand into an all-encompassing online pharmacy and diagnostic provider.
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UAE-based and MENA-servicing HealthTech and digital consultations platform Altibbi has successfully raised $44M in its latest funding round. The oversubscribed Series B brought together a number of strategic and financial investors led by Foundation Holdings, Hikma Ventures, and existing investors Global Ventures and DASH Ventures. Raising more than $50M in funds since its inception in 2011, Altibbi’s diverse shareholder base also includes high-profile investors Endeavor Catalyst, Middle East Venture Partners, and Al Rashed, among others.
Founded in 2011, Altibbi has set forth to become the digital health provider for the MENA region, using AI technologies and seamless digital interfaces to fulfill the healthcare needs of its users as well as provide them with on-demand teleconsultations. The HealthTech startup hosts over two million pages of content and has published six peer-reviewed scientific papers in the last year alone. It has conducted 4.5 million telehealth consultations to date, has 20 million unique visitors a month to its platform, and offers its 24/7 telehealth services across seven regional countries - with over 1,500 active certified doctors on the platform.
The pandemic-induced need for online and alternative healthcare services has reflected heavily on the influx of capital in the MENA region. While MENA-based HealthTech startups raised south of $20M in 2019, the ecosystem observed a 250% YoY growth in funding to raise a record $70M in 2020, and capitalized on that amount to raise a record-high of $107.3M in 2021. While the lion's share of investment in HealthTech last year was raised by dental aligner manufacturing tech startup Eon Dental and the all-encompassing cosmetics treatment platform Selfologi, major investments have been dedicated to online consultations, pharmaceutical marketplaces, and digital health platforms including Egypt-based Yodawy, KSA-based Cura, and UAE-based Valeo. As this investment remains a watershed moment for the HealthTech industry in MENA, it reflects the need for decentralized healthcare solutions which has already found lead investments this year closed by the likes of UAE-based FemTech and woman health platform Nabta Health closing its $1.5M SEED round earlier this year, and UAE-based mental health teleconsultation platform Takalam raising its $1M Pre-SEED round.
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Altibbi is positioned as the largest AI-based digital health provider in the Arab world with an unrivaled scale and innovation. Altibbi’s AI engine, created by their leading team of data scientists, engineers, and clinicians, also provides a unique capability for a comprehensive patient solution. In light of this capital milestone, Jalil Allabadi, Founder & CEO of Altibbi, stated, “We are thrilled to complete this significant funding round, with the endorsement of leading financial and strategic investors with strong healthcare and technology expertise. We are grateful to our new and existing investors, our partners, and the brilliant Altibbi family and team for allowing us to forge ahead with our mission. Altibbi is playing a critical role in organizing digital healthcare services, improving quality and convenience for patients, and reducing costs of insurers and governments, even as it expands access across the region. Building an end-to-end platform and strengthening our geographic presence has always been strategic priorities.”
The global digital health market size exceeded $142 billion in 2020 and is estimated to grow at over 17% annually until 2027. The remote healthcare market in the Middle East and North Africa is projected to reach ~$2 billion in 2024; a growth Altibbi aims to capitalize on. While 400 million people in the Arab world lack basic health services, including access to medical information and advice, Altibbi is addressing the market need by seamlessly decentralizing the process. Abhishek Sharma, CEO of Foundation Holdings, commented, “Digital Healthcare is witnessing unprecedented growth and we are set to sail into the golden age of healthcare and healthcare technology. Altibbi has already achieved a leadership position in the digital healthcare industry while demonstrating superior unit economics. Our objective is to support Altibbi to reach a superior position where its quality, exponential growth and trusted brand will enable them to be the first publicly listed digital health unicorn IPO in the GCC.”
The new funds will be used to expand the platform’s offering into online pharmacy and diagnostics collection to establish the region's first end-to-end fully integrated primary care offering, providing high quality, affordable, accessible value-based healthcare in accordance with Saudi Vision 2030 and Egypt’s Ministry of Health and Population. Digital healthcare innovations are key for supporting Saudi Vision 2030 and the Company will also increase its investments in machine learning to further support doctors in providing more precise diagnostics, referrals, and prescriptions. Lana Ghanem, Managing Director of Hikma Ventures, concluded, “Altibbi is re-engineering healthcare, shifting the focus from sick care to preventative healthcare so that patients experience better health and reduced costs. We fully believe and support their highly scalable, digital-first platform combined with their quality, virtual clinical operations to provide integrated, personalized healthcare. An integrated digital platform is no longer a nice to have in healthcare but is an essential tool to deliver a more efficient model of care.”
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