Clinicy targets sevenfold expansion after securing $5m in funding

Clinicy is strategically positioned to tackle challenges in KSA’s healthcare sector, which currently has a technology market valued at over SR7.2 billion. (Supplied)
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Updated 10 February 2024
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Clinicy targets sevenfold expansion after securing $5m in funding

  • Saudi healthtech company sets its goals for complete expansion

CAIRO: Saudi Arabia’s entrepreneurial landscape is bustling with innovation, as startups across the Kingdom are leading a digital revolution in various sectors.

Among these, the healthcare industry stands out as a primary focus, with a significant influx of technology firms dedicated to enhancing the sector’s efficiency and accessibility.

In an interview with Arab News, Prince Mohammed Al-Faisal, CEO and co-founder of the Saudi-based healthtech startup Clinicy, outlined the company’s ambitious goal to expand sevenfold by the end of 2024.

“We have just celebrated a significant milestone, having now served 1 million patients and managed more than 700,000 appointments. Currently, our market share is at around 1 percent, but in 2024 we want to expand our presence and capture 7 percent by the close of the year. We have a strong core customer base and an exciting pipeline of opportunities,” Al-Faisal said.

After successfully raising $5 million in a series A funding round, the company has set its goals for complete expansion.

A healthy market

Al-Faisal highlighted the extensive opportunities available in the Kingdom, noting that the company’s objectives are in harmony with national initiatives.

“In line with Saudi Vision 2030 and in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, we are bringing about digital reform to the healthcare sector,” he said.

“One of the main goals that we are aligned with is creating digital accessibility and efficiency of healthcare services. What we have found is that there is a strong commitment at the governmental but also at the institutional and even single clinic level, to drive positive outcomes for patients,” added the CEO.

“Working together with these stakeholders, Clinicy is taking incremental steps to transform the Kingdom’s healthcare. This combination of innovation and collaboration is the key to success,” he stated.

Al-Faisal pointed out that Saudi Arabia is undergoing a significant transformation across various sectors, with healthtech being recognized as a key area of opportunity by both regional and international investors. Highlighting the financial commitment to this vision, Al-Faisal mentioned that SR214 billion ($57 billion) has been allocated for health and social development in the 2024 budget.

“This allocation underscores the government’s dedication to investing in the healthcare sector and underscores the importance of innovative healthtech companies like Clinicy in supporting the sector’s growth,” he explained.

Curing challenges

Al-Faisal explained that Clinicy is strategically positioned to tackle the challenges faced by Saudi Arabia’s healthcare sector, which currently boasts a technology market valued at over SR7.2 billion – a figure that continues to increase annually.

Clinicy’s proprietary platform encompasses a comprehensive suite of products designed for medical institutions, including a Software-as-a-Service Health Information System, Health Management Information System, Revenue Cycle Management, and Client Relationship Management.

Additionally, Clinicy incorporates a thorough invoicing process that fully adheres to Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority standards.

Furthermore, Al-Faisal announced that his company plans to expand its services in 2024 by introducing additional business to customer offerings aimed at enhancing patient experiences.

Al-Faisal responded to inquiries about the evolving challenges within the healthcare sector, notably reflecting on the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact. 

In line with Saudi Vision 2030 and in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, we are bringing about digital reform to the healthcare sector.

Prince Mohammed Al-Faisal, CEO and co-founder of Clinicy

“One of the big learnings from this was the need for digital services that could alleviate the pressures on the healthcare system – our growth over the past few years has in many ways been driven by a renewed commitment from healthcare providers to upgrade and adapt their technology,” he explained.

Al-Faisal emphasized the importance of closely collaborating with on-the-ground partners to deeply understand their needs and identify solutions that can make a substantial difference in a healthcare setting.

He remarked on the pivotal role of technology in either simplifying or complicating operations, stressing that each update to the Clinicy platform aims to introduce enhanced simplicity and deliver tangible benefits for healthcare providers and their patients.

Al-Faisal pointed out that the Saudi healthcare sector incurs losses exceeding SR3 billion annually due to missed appointments and administrative inefficiencies.

“Clinicy directly reduces the high rates of no-shows, with clinics who use our platform seeing an average 55 percent reduction in missed appointments. Certain institutions have even seen an 85 percent drop in no-shows,” he added. On the administrative front, Clinicy aims to lower communication barriers between providers and patients through cost-effective automation.

Al-Faisal noted that approximately 70 percent of employee tasks, such as service reminders and updating appointment timings, could be enhanced and automated.

Medical centers that have adopted Clinicy have seen a reduction in the hours dedicated to manual administration by an average of 40 percent, and in some instances, this reduction has reached 60 percent, Al-Faisal noted.

“One game-changing area is the synchronization of data into unified systems and devices. From patient records to payments, data can be used to understand macro-scale issues in healthcare administration, to enabling individual, personalized experiences,” Al-Faisal explained.

Business fundamentals

“Currently, our main source of revenue is through our subscription-based partnerships with medical institutions. In 2024, we will diversify our revenue to provide more direct B2C services,” he stated.

The company claims to have reached gross profitability and will achieve net profit by 2025 with the current focus being on expansion.

“In 2024, we are concentrating on expanding our rollout and acquisition in the Kingdom, as the domestic opportunity is vast,” Al-Faisal explained. 

FASTFACT

Saudi Arabia is undergoing a significant transformation across various sectors, with healthtech being recognized as a key area of opportunity by both regional and international investors.

“In the longer term, as a technology provider these tailored solutions could potentially benefit many millions in accessing better healthcare options. Globally, healthcare remains out of reach for a lot of the world’s population and I envision a time in the future where Clinicy is supporting people on every continent,” he added.

Al-Faisal emphasized the importance of deeply understanding customer needs as a cornerstone of Clinicy’s approach.

He acknowledged the constant emergence of new trends and technologies in the healthcare sector. However, he highlighted that his company’s distinctive advantage lies in its capacity to seamlessly integrate these innovations into the daily operations of healthcare institutions.

“We already deploy a range of advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning tools across Clinicy functions. It is clear that there are many use cases for AI and ML and where appropriate, we will continue to incorporate advancements into our proprietary platform,” he stated.

“One of the biggest challenges has been moving a traditional offline model online. However, this is also one of the most satisfying accomplishments,” Al-Faisal highlighted.

“We all understand how businesses like Amazon and noon have transformed the way people shop online, and how our banking services have migrated to mobiles. With Clinicy, we are providing something just as transformational with enhanced technology for healthcare, from the institution through to the individual patient,” he said.


Saudi Arabia introduces clean diesel and gasoline fuels in Kingdom’s market

Updated 27 February 2024
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Saudi Arabia introduces clean diesel and gasoline fuels in Kingdom’s market

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s sustainability drive is gaining momentum with the Ministry of Energy announcing the launch of clean diesel and Euro-5 compliant gasoline in the Kingdom’s market. 

According to a Saudi Press Agency report, these newly introduced fuels offer lower emissions than traditional diesel and gasoline.

Like their predecessors, these energy sources are suitable for all means of transportation, and are also expected to contribute to preserving the environment and achieving the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, the report added. 

Euro-5 is a standard set by the EU to regulate the emissions of vehicles. 

Saudi Arabia is leading the Middle East and North Africa region in sustainable efforts through various undertakings, including the Saudi Green Initiative. 

The Ministry of Energy said that the introduction of these two fuels comes as part of the Kingdom’s efforts to reduce emissions and reach net zero in 2060 through the application of the circular carbon economy approach. 

The report added that the launch of these resources would encourage car manufacturers to introduce the latest energy-efficient vehicle technologies to the Kingdom. 

In January, multi-project developer Red Sea Global announced that it has become the first company in Saudi Arabia to use low-carbon biofuel in all its delivery trucks.

In a press statement, RSG revealed that the entire fleet of land vehicles is now powered by electricity or biofuel. 

The biofuel is produced from used cooking oil sourced within Saudi Arabia. The type of fuel RSG has adopted emits only 0.17 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent per liter, compared with 2.7kg CO2e per liter from regular diesel usage.


Johnson & Johnson MedTech begins direct operations in Saudi Arabia 

Updated 27 February 2024
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Johnson & Johnson MedTech begins direct operations in Saudi Arabia 

RIYADH: Saudi healthcare is poised to benefit from advanced medical interventions after Johnson & Johnson’s technology firm, J&J MedTech KSA, announced the launching of its direct operations in the Kingdom.  

The company provides high-tech medical and surgical equipment and aims to bring customers closer to a more streamlined experience, according to a statement.   

This move not only aligns with the firm’s commitment to enhancing medical interventions and improving clinical outcomes but also reflects the company’s ongoing investment in the future of Saudi healthcare, it added.   

Marzena Kulis, managing director of Johnson & Johnson MedTech for Middle East & Africa, said: “We remain deeply vested in Saudi Arabia and in contributing to the Vision 2030 to support in developing the healthcare sector, driving economic growth, nurturing local talent, and fostering innovation.”    

She added: “As an entity, Johnson & Johnson has been present in Saudi Arabia for nearly 40 years, putting the needs of patients, families, physicians, and nurses first, and functioning as advocates for the health of the Saudi community.”   

The senior executive added that as the company transitions into this new direct model, its esteemed partners will have fewer obstacles in providing the best care for their patients.

Moreover, Trad Al-Khelaiwi general manager of J&J MedTech KSA, highlighted: “As a company that is dedicated to fostering local talent, our direct operations are also aimed at creating more opportunities within the Kingdom and supporting the government’s Saudization efforts.”

He added: “In fact, since the start of the project, we’ve made 76 new hires — with our priority and majority being KSA nationals.” 

Furthermore, Al-Khelaiwi emphasized that this transformative shift would bring the customers closer to Johnson & Johnson’s quality standards and help develop the local healthcare market with international know-how.

“By taking this bold step, we are not only embracing the health goals of Vision 2030 and aligning with the National Health Transformation Program but also spotlighting the immense potential of local talent in driving innovation and progress,” Transformation Director at Johnson & Johnson MedTech Peter Lane underscored. 

In November 2022, Johnson & Johnson announced providing digital solutions that will shorten the time patients spend in hospitals.  

According to Marzena Kulis, managing director of Johnson & Johnson MedTech Middle East, the move was crucial in countries with lower bed capacity.  

“The digital solutions that we currently offer help to shorten the time of patients’ stay, so the capacity can absorb more patients, especially in the geographies where capacity is limited,” Kulis said in an exclusive interview with Arab News at the time.


Demand for fossil fuels not likely to diminish anytime soon: Saudi energy minister

Updated 27 February 2024
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Demand for fossil fuels not likely to diminish anytime soon: Saudi energy minister

 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia aspires to become one of the largest producers and exporters of clean energy, said Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman.

In an interview with the quarterly bulletin issued by the Saudi Association for Energy Economics, the minister said the Kingdom is capable of producing green and clean hydrogen at competitive prices.

Prince Abdulaziz said the Kingdom is focussing on all energy sources including solar, wind and green hydrogen as well as nuclear and geothermal.

This will help the Kingdom to reduce the consumption of liquid fuels in generating electricity and reaching the optimal energy mix, he added.

The minister cited the establishment of the largest green hydrogen production plant in NEOM as an example. The plant will have an annual production capacity of 250,000 tonnes by 2026.

Talking about the fluctuations in the oil market, he said the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has mechanisms in place to deal with global crude market challenges.

Despite highlighting Saudi Arabia’s energy transition plans, Prince Abdulaziz said the need for fossil fuels, especially oil and gas, will continue for decades as also indicated by several industry reports.

The minister added that Saudi Arabia is working to reduce carbon emissions, and that it has a program to replace liquid fuels.

He explained that the program aims to run industrial facilities to rely on natural gas or alternative fuels as well as building renewable energy sources.

Furthermore, Prince Abdulaziz highlighted how Saudi Arabia has quadrupled its current renewable energy capacity from 700 megawatts to 2,800 MW by the end of 2023, with more than 800 MW of renewable energy sources still under implementation and about 1,300 MW in various stages of development. On top of that, the Kingdom plans to produce 200 additional MW this year.

The energy minister also revealed that work is underway to build one of the largest projects to capture, transport, and store carbon dioxide with an annual capacity of up to 9 million tonnes by 2030 and 44 million tons annually by 2035.

He reiterated the Kingdom’s goal to reduce emissions to 278 million tonnes annually by 2030.


Closing Bell: Saudi main index rebounds to close at 12,602

Updated 27 February 2024
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Closing Bell: Saudi main index rebounds to close at 12,602

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index bounced back on Tuesday after recording declines on two days.

The benchmark index gained 69.79 points to close at 12,601.55 with an overall trading value of SR7.31 billion ($1.95 billion), with 169 stocks advancing and 52 declining. 

The Kingdom’s parallel market, Nomu, also gained 661.67 points to close at 26,254.28 and the MSCI Tadawul Index also edged up by 0.68 percent to 1,627.71. 

The best-performing stock of the day was Middle East Pharmaceutical Industries Co., also known as Avalon Pharma, which debuted on the main market on Tuesday. The company’s share price soared by 30 percent to SR106.60. 

Other top performers were Saudi Steel Pipe Co. and Batic Investments and Logistics Co., whose share prices surged by 9.93 percent and 9.87 percent, respectively. 

The worst performer of the day was Saudi Arabian Amiantit Co., as its share price slipped by 5.24 percent to SR29.85. 

On the announcements front, Arabian Centers Co., also known as Cenomi Centers, said that its board of directors approved issuing dollar-denominated sukuk under its international sukuk program. 

In a Tadawul statement, Cenomi Centers revealed that the amount and the terms of offerings will be announced later, depending on the market conditions. 

The lifestyle center operator added that the sukuk issuance is subject to the approval of the relevant regulatory authorities. 

Meanwhile, National Medical Care Co. revealed that it witnessed a net profit rise of 42 percent in 2023 to SR240.9 million compared to the previous year. 

The medical service provider said the rise in net profit was driven by higher revenue, gross profit, and interest income, along with lower sales costs and zakat charges. 

National Medical Care Co. added that the net profit for the fourth quarter of 2023 also witnessed a surge of 15 percent to SR63.5 million compared to the same period in 2022. 

Saudi Basic Industries Corp. also revealed its financial results for 2023 on Tuesday. 

The company, also known as SABIC, reported a net loss of SR2.58 billion in 2023, compared to a net profit of SR16.5 billion in 2022. 

In a statement to Tadawul, the company attributed the accumulation of losses to a decline in revenue due to a decrease in average selling prices and sales volumes. 


Aramco signs procurement agreements worth $6bn to enhance local supply chain

Updated 27 February 2024
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Aramco signs procurement agreements worth $6bn to enhance local supply chain

RIYADH: Saudi Aramco’s domestic supply chain is poised for further improvement as it signed procurement agreements worth $6 billion with suppliers in the Kingdom. 

According to a press statement, these 40 procurement agreements were inked as a part of the company’s strategic localization program and are expected to strengthen the firm’s supply chain ecosystem and contribute to the development of the energy services sector in Saudi Arabia. 

The deals will also provide suppliers with long-term demand visibility, enabling them to capture future growth and advance localization efforts.

Wail Al-Jaafari, executive vice president of technical services at Saudi Aramco, said: “The 40 new agreements signed today are expected to contribute to the domestic value chain and further enhance the ecosystem that Aramco is helping to build.” 

Moreover, these procurement agreements will also contribute to achieving the objectives of Aramco’s iktva program, an initiative to drive the growth of a vibrant economy in the Kingdom and create new opportunities for Saudi nationals.

These new corporate deals span the supply of a range of products comprising strategic commodities, such as instrumentation and electrical and drilling equipment. 

“These agreements move us toward a more prosperous, diverse and resilient supply chain, which will help ensure business continuity. They also represent a key milestone on our iktva journey and provide our partners an opportunity to benefit from a dynamic and increasingly diversified operating environment,” added Al-Jaafari. 

Additionally, Saudi Aramco signed two memorandum of understanding with its strategic partners to collaborate on localization and supply chain development. 

Earlier in February, speaking at the International Petroleum Technology Conference in Dhahran, Amin Nasser, CEO of Saudi Aramco, said that the company is very active in its localization efforts. 

“We hired more than 5,000 people, mostly Saudis, but also from 60 nationalities,” said Nasser.

He also added that Aramco has the full capability to grow in any sector to create profitable companies.

In January, a report released by strategic consulting firm Brand Finance revealed that Saudi Aramco has retained its position as the most valuable company in the Middle East region, with a value amounting to $41.6 billion.