GCC-Based Doctor Booking Platform Meddy Gets Acquired By Nigeria-Based Healthtech Startup Helium Health With the transaction, Helium Health will deploy its technology and healthcare financial solutions across the MENA region.

By Pamella de Leon

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Helium Health
Helium Health co-founders Adegoke Olubusi, Dimeji Sofowora and Tito Ovia, along with Meddy co-founder and CEO Haris Aghadi

Meddy, a doctor booking platform based in Qatar and the UAE, has been acquired by the Nigeria-based healthtech startup Helium Health for an undisclosed amount.

Launched in 2015 by Haris Aghadi, Meddy has served more than 150 private clients in the UAE and Qatar and facilitated over 200,000 doctor appointments, while enabling healthcare providers to generate approximately US$130 million in billings. It had also raised $1.8 million in a Series A round, with participation from 212 Capital, Qatar Science & Technology Park, Kasamar Holdings, healthtech angel investor Dharmendra Ghai, Innoway and others.

The acquisition is part of Helium Health's expansion plan. Founded by Adegoke Olubusi, Dimeji Sofowora and Tito Ovia in 2016, the healthtech startup provides a suite of services for its healthcare clients, including an electronic medical records solution, a billing and payment solution and a collateral-free loan product. With a presence in six African companies, the startup helps over 5,000 health professionals and serves around 165,000 patients monthly.

With the transaction, Helium Health will deploy its technology and healthcare financial solutions across the GCC region. In addition, Meddy's co-founder and CEO Aghadi, as well as COO Abed Alkarim Khattab, will join Helium Health's leadership and play crucial roles in Helium Health's execution of its GCC strategy and operations. Meddy will also now be known as Helium Doc.

Source: Meddy

Aghadi, co-founder and CEO of Meddy, explains how Helium Health's offering presents an opportunity to some of Meddy's customers who have faced issues with Electronic Medical Records (EMR): "We were always looking for ways to enhance our product line to provide solutions to solve those problems faced by healthcare providers. By combining forces, we will be able to do that." He adds, "With this acquisition, Meddy will combine its B2C and marketing solutions product line with Helium Health's clinical solutions- making it the one-stop place for providers to get digital solutions."

It's also marked as a win as partnerships in the tech ecosystem between West African startups and Middle Eastern startups are uncommon. According to a report by TechCrunch, Adegoke Olubusi, CEO of Helium Health, notes that the Helium Health and Meddy teams share similarities in operations, technology execution, culture and market price points, making it easy for both companies to close the deal in less than four months. "Beyond the actual product and market opportunity, what made this possible was really the composition of the team, how well they executed the fact that they share a DNA and culture that's very similar to ours," says Olubusi

After joining forces, the two entities will now be combining Meddy's marketing solutions with Helium's clinical solutions to offer a comprehensive product suite and support healthcare providers in the Middle East and Africa. Aghadi concludes, "We aim for our products to potentially touch the lives of hundreds of millions of people in GCC, Africa, and the greater MENA region. This will scale up our impact by a factor of 20-30 times."

Related: Dubai-Based Telehealth Startup InstaPract Helps Patients Consult Doctors From A Distance During COVID-19 Pandemic

"TREP TALK ME: Haris Aghadi, co-founder and CEO, Meddy

How was the process? What has been your experience negotiating this deal during the COVID-19 pandemic?

"We had a great experience working with Helium and their M&A advisory team Chrysalis Capital. The pandemic didn't affect the deal in an adverse way. It actually helped because the lockdowns catalyzed many healthcare providers to adopt our telemedicine product. They realized they needed to enhance their entire digital infrastructure to provide a better patient experience- to retain them. This drastically increased our market opportunity and pushed us to enhance our product line- which led to our joining forces with Helium."

What is your advice to entrepreneurs considering the acquisition path? How can entrepreneurs judge if an exit opportunity is advantageous for their startup?

"It is difficult to give general advice regarding M&A, as it's very contextual and highly nuanced. I can share some questions that my team, the board and I deliberated on that could be applicable to other startups: How does joining forces enhance your mission? Do the companies have complementary product lines? Does this increase your TAM and does it give you an edge to capture a bigger share of the market? Can the teams mesh together? What's the culture like? Can both companies accelerate their growth by joining forces? Since healthcare is broad and highly interconnected it's imperative to cover as many stakeholders across the healthcare value chain as possible. Does the alliance help us connect with more stakeholders?"

Related: Innovating In The Middle Of A Pandemic: How Working With Startups Can Help Larger Corporations Pivot Faster

Pamella de Leon

Startup Section Editor, Entrepreneur Middle East

Pamella de Leon is the Startup Section Editor at Entrepreneur Middle East. She is keen on the MENA region’s entrepreneurship potential, with a specific interest to support enterprises and individuals creating an impact.

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