Saltire Alumni raise £10m to spearhead digital transformation in pharmacy sector

Phlo, UK digital pharmacy leaders, have closed a £10m Series A round. This investment will support the scaling of Phlo’s operations and their partnerships with other healthcare providers, ultimately enabling more clinicians and patients to access the benefits of digital pharmacy services.

Phlo, UK digital pharmacy leaders, have closed a £10m Series A round led by family office Thairm Bio.

Phlo’s success can be attributed to its seasoned leadership team, including CEO Nadeem Sarwar and Chief Commercial Officer Adam Hunter, who are both Alumni of Entrepreneurial Scotland’s prestigious leadership development programmes.

Phlo Senior Leadership Team
(From left to right, James Maciver, CTO, Nadeem Sarwar, Founder and CEO, Dr Jonathan Forbes, Chief Data Officer, Adam Hunter, CCO, Lauren Nicholson, CFO)

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

This announcement comes as momentum behind digital transformation mounts in the pharmacy sector, powered by providers 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 3000 high street pharmacy branches by 2024.

Phlo’s Series A round - a combination of equity investment and the conversion of existing loan notes - follows the £2m raised by Phlo in 2020 in the third largest recorded healthtech Crowdfunding campaign in Europe.

The round is led by Thairm Bio alongside support from Scottish Enterprise and a number of other high-profile angel investors.

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.

Transforming the way patients access medication: Phlo Digital Pharmacy

Phlo’s flagship product is their Digital Pharmacy, currently offering a same-day NHS and private prescription delivery service to patients in Birmingham and London, and launching 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.

Accelerating the digitisation of pharmacy: Phlo Connect

Phlo’s second product, Phlo Connect, provides market-leading digital pharmacy infrastructure that enables healthtech companies and private healthcare providers to offer a seamless, complete digital pharmacy service. Their existing partners include Babylon, Leva Clinic, SkinDoc, Syrona Health, and The Dermatology Partnership.

Mark Bamforth, Founder of Thairm Bio, comments:

“Thairm Bio is delighted tolead this investment round, in partnership with a dedicated group of investors, and to support Phlo in their continued expansion across the UK.

“Phlo’s drive and determination to improve patient access and healthcare outcomes at this pivotal moment for the pharmacy sector is impressive.

“Phlo’s dedication to building innovative digital solutions that put patients and clinicians at the heart of what they do is key to driving positive change in the sector, empowering patients and healthcare providers. On behalf of Thairm Bio, I am proud to support Phlo and personally excited to see what the team achieves in the next stage of their journey.”

Kerry Sharp, Director of Entrepreneurship and Investment at Scottish Enterprise, said:

“Phlo is a fantastic example of a growing innovative company that is helping patients and healthcare providers through its technology. With Scottish Enterprise investment, the company can scale up operations and expand its services into new markets.”

Founded by entrepreneur Nadeem Sarwar and headquartered in Glasgow, Scotland, Phlo are at the forefront of innovation and product development in the UK pharmacy sector. Their team headcount has just exceeded 70 people.

Nadeem Sarwar, Founder and CEO of Phlo, comments:

“I would like to thank our existing and new investors for supporting Phlo’s mission as we enter into our next stage of growth. 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”.