Medikabazaar raises US$ 5 million for AI and ML technologies to strengthen supply chain & logistics operations

Medikabazaar, a B2B online marketplace for medical equipment and supplies in India, has raised Series A funding of US$ 5 million in December 2018 led by venture capital firm HealthQuad and Rebright Partners. This enables the company to improve its technology and scale-up its supply chain and logistics operations.
 
Efforts to strengthen its Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning application 'Vizi' are underway. Vizi is an algorithm to accurately identify brands, manage inventories efficiently, reduce operating expenses, avoid shortages and track expiries of Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) across hospitals.
 
The company is also working towards expanding its fulfillment centres from the current 12 to 25+ centres across Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. It plans to reach 50,000+ hospitals and doctors by the end of the next financial year, besides increase the team strength.

“Our business model is gathering interest from VCs and PEs from India and abroad across Japan, Belgium, Singapore, Ireland, United Kingdom and the US for growth capital investment in the Series B funding”, Vivek Tiwari, Founder and CEO, Medikabazaar told Pharmabiz.
 
We started Medikabazaar to improve the procurement process of medical establishments especially in small towns and rural areas. Lack of appropriate medical supplies at the right time severely hampers patient care. Apart from this hindrance, hospitals have to contact multiple suppliers. This leads to quotations and negotiation which is daunting and time-consuming, he added.
 
The concept of a single point contact of purchase has enabled hospitals to cut paperwork and streamline supply chain process. Our digital product catalogue has over 150,000 supplies which can be purchased via easy payment options such as a 40-day rolling credit limit or zero-cost EMI. Our last-mile systems enable doorstep delivery on the same day for many locations. Our clientele of 20,000+ hospitals indicates the acceptance, said Tiwari.
 
Partnerships with over 1,900 domestic & international suppliers including 3M, J&J Combat Medical from UK, and Braster in Poland enable the company to deal with the largest catalogue of products ranging from gloves, hand sanitizers and other fast moving consumables and disposables to high-end capital items like ECG machine, X-rays, sonography, dental equipment, hospital furniture CT, MRI, HIPEC, HIVEC, Lasers among others.

Recently, the company became an authorized Value Purchase Organization for member hospitals of the Association of Healthcare Providers India to handle procurement as a single point of contact with flexi finance options and cost comparisons. It is estimated that AHPI member hospitals will save upto 30% in procurement costs.
 
The medical industry from US$ 61.79 billion in FY 2017 is expected to reach US$ 132.84 billion by FY 2022 which is currently being catered to by Medikabazaar and planning to expand in. The challenge is the reluctance of Indian hospitals to adopt technology. In an age of digital revolution, healthcare establishments still function with an conventional or offline procurement process. Here we offer Vizi free of cost and this has shown encouraging results, he said.

 

The article was published in the pharmabiz.com

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