Series A funding

Online pharmacy Phlo raises £10m for growth

Phlo directors Adam Hunter and Nadeem Sarwar
Chief commercial officer Adam Hunter, left, with founder Nadeeem Sarwar (pic: Terry Murden)

Phlo, the Glasgow-based online pharmacy, has closed a £10 million Series A round led by family office Thairm Bio.

The funds will be used to expand the reach of Phlo Digital Pharmacy, the first in the UK to offer patients same-day medication delivery, and to scale Phlo Connect, the market-leading digital infrastructure platform for healthcare providers.

The deal was revealed by Daily Business in December and comes as momentum behind digital transformation mounts in the pharmacy sector.

Providers are seeking solutions that will equip them to cope with supply chain fluctuations, spiralling operating costs, record workforce shortages, and the predicted closure of up to 3,000 high street pharmacy branches by 2024.

Phlo’s Series A round – a combination of equity investment and the conversion of existing loan notes.

Our story on the latest funding deal

Before the latest round, it had raised a total of £6.7m over eight rounds, its most recent in October 2020 when it raised £2m in the third largest recorded healthtech crowdfunding campaign in Europe.

The new round was led by Thairm Bio alongside support from Scottish Enterprise and a number of other high-profile angel investors. Phlo was advised by Addleshaw Goddard.

The new investment will support the scaling of Phlo’s operations and its partnerships with healthcare providers, ultimately enabling more clinicians and patients to access the benefits of digitised pharmacy services.

Phlo’s flagship digital pharmacy offers a same-day NHS and private prescription delivery service to patients in Birmingham and London, and launches in Manchester in 2023. Over 110,000 orders have been delivered since the platform’s launch in 2020, with user numbers more than doubling year-on-year. 

Phlo Connect provides digital pharmacy infrastructure that enables healthtech companies and private healthcare providers to offer a seamless, complete digital pharmacy service. Existing partners include Babylon, Leva Clinic, SkinDoc, Syrona Health, and The Dermatology Partnership.

The company was established in 2019 by entrepreneur Nadeem Sarwar and is headquartered in Glasgow, though it has no clients in Scotland because of regulatory hurdles. The company’s headcount has just exceeded 70.

Mr Sarwar said: “The investment raised will help support our expansion across the UK and allow us to continue developing our Phlo Digital Pharmacy and Phlo Connect offering to improve healthcare outcomes.

“This round of investment is particularly crucial in helping us scale our offering and realising our vision of establishing Phlo as the market leader in the delivery of next-generation digital pharmacy services right across the UK.

“We have a very busy roadmap ahead and some incredibly exciting opportunities to take advantage of in 2023 and beyond”.

Mark Bamforth, founder of Thairm Bio, said: “Phlo’s drive and determination to improve patient access and healthcare outcomes at this pivotal moment for the pharmacy sector is impressive.

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