Chinese B2B pharmaceutical trading platform Yaoshibang (药师帮) USD 130 million in its fourth financing round in November. According to tech portal 36Kr, Tiger Fund, H Capital and DCM participated in the round. In June, Yaoshibang raised USD 60 million from investors such as DCM, Shunwei and SIG in the third financing round.
Yaoshibang (药师帮) connects makers of pharmaceutical products with pharmacies and clinics. The company aims to disrupt the supply chain of pharmaceutical products, working with large manufacturers, warehouses and distributors. Founded in 2015, Yaoshibang offers a host of services to retail pharmacies including ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software, logistics assistance and sourcing.
CEO Zhang Buzhen said Yaoshibang has already reached the annual GMV target of CNY 10 billion. Monthly orders have surpassed one million covering 200,000 plus pharmacies. Chinese are skeptical about the adulteration in the pharmaceutical sector and the demand for quality medicines is continually growing. The online penetration of distribution network for pharmaceutical products in on the rise, he said. Zhang Buzhen said Yaoshibang hopes to link more retailers and local basic healthcare institutions with medical products manufacturers. As the company grows, so does the data gathered by the platform. In the longer term, Yaoshibang wants to “strengthen the supply chain of the industry by attracting more talent, providing technological solutions and guaranteeing the safety of the medical products”.
2018 has been a good year for the pharmaceutical industry, thanks to the favorable policies of the Chinese government. China's 13th Five-Year Plan prioritises health and innovation. On February 2017, the State Council published a statement laying out plans for further reform and improvement of policy in drug manufacturing, distribution and utility. The government recently allowed few medicines exclusively sold in hospitals to be made available in pharmacies. According to sources quoted by 36Kr, 25% of the drugs now available in hospitals will be sold in pharmacies.
Retail pharmacies will stand to benefit from the development. China had around 450,000 retail pharmacies and 800,000 private clinics and small rural health centers at the end of 2017 with a market size of USD 72 billion. Yaoshibang along with competitors such as Yiyao Zaixian, Yaoyaohao, Beideng and Rongguan is proactively targeting the online pharmacy front.