Startup Spotlight: UAE-Based Healthcare Fintech Klaim Focuses On Maintaining The Human Touch As It Continues To Expand Across The GCC By eradicating working capital woes for medical providers, Klaim works towards creating a more seamless healthcare ecosystem.
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When Karim Dakki and Ahmad Ghafour launched Abu Dhabi-based fintech startup Klaim in December 2019, there was one clear goal the duo had set out to achieve: solve delayed and/or rejected insurance claim payments for medical providers in the UAE. "The birth of the company was formed over a casual meeting among friends who shared a common entrepreneurial passion and personal interest in the medical sector," Dakki, who is also Klaim's CEO, recalls. "After learning that healthcare providers are suffering from insurance claims due to the complicated claim filing process, rejections, and payment delays, a revolutionary concept was born. The emergence of the concept and transformation of the healthcare system by presenting a solution to a problem faced by healthcare providers resulted from the exchange of various ideas and perspectives."
Klaim's business model involves a multi-step process. First, healthcare providers must create an account with Klaim, following which the entity's financial performance is vetted- this is done using Klaim's tech-driven platform, which assesses and buys low-risk claims (have a high chance of being paid by the insurer), and rejects claims that offer high risk. Following this, the medical provider then signs a contract with Klaim, which makes them eligible to receive medical claim payments in cash within seven days. "So far we are focusing on healthcare finance, especially business-to-business," Dakki explains. "We would like to streamline medical billing from A-to-Z and for revenue cycle management activities that encompass three pillars. One is technology automation for claims management and revenue cycle activities. Second is the capital services for accelerating claims payments through purchases of receivable purchases. And then the third revenue model is reliability-centered maintenance services. By bundling the three of them, we come up with a new way of doing revenue cycle management that we've called revenue cycle management 2.0, where healthcare facilities transform their medicare and claim process into a cash process that is instant and hassle-free.
By eradicating working capital woes for medical providers, Klaim thus works towards creating a more seamless healthcare ecosystem. And the startup's numbers thus far speak for the efficiency of its business model- since its inception in 2019, Klaim has already managed claims worth over AED700 million and supported more than 100 medical entities across the UAE and Saudi Arabia. "It's a very unique DNA that matches between financial services, giving us an edge when it comes to being at the crossroads of healthcare finance," Dakki adds. "One of our unique selling propositions is the brand and the trust that we built in the difficult industry to penetrate, which allows healthcare facilities to trust us for sharing with us their finances, which is not something that they are open to doing easily with others."
But despite constantly keeping an eye out evolving tech and innovation that could be integrated into the Klaim model, Dakki says that it is the human factor that really makes its offering stand out. "We focus a lot on bringing a new way of doing things, not only in terms of technology, but also processes that can allow us to disrupt an industry that is very conservative and very resistant to change; namely, human connection with the customer base," he says. "And so, while we use technology for back-end operations, we make sure that the link with the customer stays there all the time with the account manager, just constantly visiting the customers, and being close to them."
With six subsidiaries across Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Saudi, and Oman, Klaim is now in its pre-series A stage. In November 2022, the startup had announced that it had raised US$5 million in a seed investment round led by Dubai-headquartered venture capital and private equity firm Knuru Capital. "We've raised so far between debt and equity by more than $14 million," Dakki says. "We are currently at $2 million of annualized revenue with a very high margin, and a team of around 50 people that are geographically spread."
Dakki adds here that his startup being a part of the MBRIF program has been a major catalyst in it being able to set up valuable connections with the UAE government- a step that is absolutely crucial for a startup looking to create a ripple effect of change across the healthcare payment system. "It's a prestigious program that we wanted to be a part of to prepare for our Series A, and establish specific relationships with the governments," Dakki says. "And having access to such government resources is definitely helping a startup like us to tackle the challenges of the healthcare industry and support the healthcare ecosystem as a whole."
Indeed, the Klaim team's efforts have certainly been in alignment with the UAE government's vision- a feat that Dakki believes will also hold his firm in good stead moving into 2023. "I think that our system could have only been done in a place where healthcare digitalization is advanced, which is the case in the UAE, and it has been spearheaded by the UAE government," he notes. "So, we are a value-add service on central government platforms, and we would not have been able to exist if these things hadn't been done initially by the government. So, I think that's a big plus. We are proud to be in an ecosystem where startups and founders are valued."