From left to right: Christian Besler, Vice-President, Kickstart Ventures; Koichi Saito, Director, IMJ Investment Partners; Minette Navarrete, President, Kickstart; Farouk Meralli, CEO & Founder, mClinica; Dave McClure, Founding Partner, 500 Startups; Kaspar Zhou, Principal, 500 Startups; and Khailee Ng, Managing Partner, 500 Startups

From left to right: Christian Besler, Vice-President, Kickstart Ventures; Koichi Saito, Director, IMJ Investment Partners; Minette Navarrete, President, Kickstart; Farouk Meralli, CEO & Founder, mClinica; Dave McClure, Founding Partner, 500 Startups; Kaspar Zhou, Principal, 500 Startups; and Khailee Ng, Managing Partner, 500 Startups

mClinica, a mobile health startup from Singapore, has secured its first round of investment from 500 Startups, IMJ Investment Partners of Japan and Kickstart Ventures of the Philippines to fuel expansion to Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand.

The funding round was led by Kickstart. The amount has not been disclosed.

The investment will help mClinica in getting access to a combined mobile customer base of over 550 million in 25 markets across Asia and Africa, said an official statement.

“mClinica is improving medical retailing for patients and retail customers, drug stores, and large pharmaceutical firms. By combining proprietary software solutions with genuine insight into patient needs, a deep understanding of the pharma industry, and on-the-ground retail experience in emerging markets, mClinica is creating real value throughout the ecosystem, and its traction shows it,” said Minette Navarrete, President, Kickstart.

mClinica uses mobile technology to connect pharmaceutical companies directly to pharmacies making healthcare better for the patient.

Philippines was selected as its pilot market in view of the high prices of medicines, highly-fragmented status of independent pharmacies and data scarcity. The firm claims that one in every two independent pharmacies in the Philippines is now part of mClinica.

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“mClinica will change the way big pharma plays in emerging markets,” said Dave McClure, Founding Partner, 500 Startups.

Koichi Saito, Director of IMJ Investment Partners said, “mClinica is the most exciting mobile health startup we have come across. It has been able to show incredible growth based on a unique double bottom line business model – the better it does as a business, the better patients do.”

mClinica was founded by 28-year-old Harvard graduate Farouk Meralli in 2012 after discovering significant challenges pharmaceutical companies face in many emerging markets.

Through mClinica, drug companies can reach pharmacies on a large scale through mobile phones and furthermore create programmes that help patients better afford medicine, be better educated about the medicines they take, help improve adherence and overall create better health outcomes. These pharmaceutical companies also receive new sources of data and analytics on the market and their customers in real-time.