Online pharmacy begins growth drive after beating seven-figure crowdfunding target

Online pharmacy begins growth drive after beating seven-figure crowdfunding target

A fast-growing digital pharmacies is embarking embark on a growth drive after smashing through its crowdfunding target of £1.65m on the day of launch.

Glasgow-founded Phlo Digital Pharmacy, launched in November 2019, now plans to extend its crowdfunding campaign hosted on Crowdcube due to the high levels of demand.

The business was founded by Nadeem Sarwar who is a Saltire Fellow with Entrepreneurial Scotland.

He was managing director of of Universal Pharmacy for five years and previously spent several years working in corporate and commercial banking for HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland.

The business employs 32 members of staff across the UK, with the majority being high-value technology and pharmacy roles. Employee numbers are expected to reach around 200 in 2021.

Although Glasgow born, the business began life by servicing patients in and around London, where the company now has a foothold across the city, delivering prescriptions by bike courier.

After seeing considerable demand for its services, it has now begun providing deliveries throughout England. Most on-demand same-day deliveries by Phlo are completed within two hours.

Since launching, the management team has now proven the business model and concept, and the investment received through the crowdfunding will help support the scaling up of the on-demand, same-day delivery service.

There will also be a further investment to implement and develop new features and technologies as well as the recruitment drive. 

Phlo plans to launch its on-demand service outside of London in Birmingham later this year and plans to expand into five cities over the next two years.

From October 2019, demand and patient numbers have been growing consistently, but in the period since COVID-19 became a significant public health issue, growth has exceeded all expectations.

Since the start of the year, Phlo said it has seen a 73% growth in average month on month revenue and 43% growth in average month on month patient numbers.

The company said it has serviced more than 4000 patients to date from Jersey to Orkney.

Phlo recently appointed its first chief pharmacy officer Naila Dad.

Dad was previously head of operations at Pharmacy 2 U &amp and joined Phlo from Co-Op Ventures where she was head of operations for its online pharmacy service.

Phlo is an exclusive partner of the UK’s largest telemedicine provider, Babylon Health.

Phlo founder and CEO Nadeem Sarwar said: “The response we’ve received to the crowdfunding has been incredible and I’d like to say a massive thank you to all those who are investing and in particular those who have supported us from the start.

“Last-generation online pharmacy services have been around for a while, but what we’re doing at Phlo is innovative, and given the current environment, we’d anticipate demand growing consistently.

“There will of course always be a place for bricks and mortar pharmacies, but whether you’re working from home or in an office, the convenience of on-demand delivery is becoming the norm, and what consumers expect.”

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