[Written in partnership with Supernewsroom, but the editorial team had full control over the content.]
Last year, we featured Goobat, a health tech startup under parent company, Healthestate Sdn Bhd.
Originally looking to start by building a brick-and-mortar pharmacy, Goobat had to pivot online amid the pandemic.
Known as Goobat.Care, the online pharmacy aimed to decentralize the pharmaceutical industry by offering legitimate and lower prices for branded products and online consultations with pharmacists, among others.
Now, Goobat offers drug subscription services while equipping Malaysians with entrepreneurial skills through Goobat Kawan.
Not your average pharmacy membership
Goobat Kawan is said to offer customers more discounts and rewards which depend on the number of plan subscriptions their contacts sign up for.
“The Goobat Kawan scheme is intended to help Malaysians save approximately RM13 billion on their healthcare and personal care bills,” said Asher Looi, CEO and Co-Founder of Goobat.Care.
Admittedly, I couldn’t figure out how the discount and rewards program differed from the memberships offered by pharmacies like Watsons, Caring, and Health Lane. Responding to this doubt, Asher said that those who join the Goobat Kawan program have access to discounts on all products from the online pharmacy.
Moreover, they can enjoy free delivery nationwide and thus reduce their overall expenses on medical and healthcare products.
Rebates and rewards are one of the ways the Goobat Kawan program aims to provide income opportunities to Malaysians. It also allows them to hone their entrepreneurial skills by onboarding more customers to Goobat’s drug subscription program.
A working group for health savings
Becoming a Goobat Kawan works like an affiliate program.
Agents are responsible for finding and onboarding people interested in subscribing to monthly, fortnightly, or biannual refills of medications, as well as other health and personal care products.
Every item listed on Goobat.Care and its physical pharmacy can be purchased with free shipping. Additionally, if a customer needs a specific medicine, Goobat can place special orders for such situations and deliver them to customers through the subscription service.
The only drug orders the pharmacy does not fill are cancer drugs, due to their low dosage.
Agents must also ensure that they have collected the necessary prescription from subscribers which will be verified by Goobat’s partner doctors. For those who do not have a prescription, Goobat’s partner doctors will contact them to provide one if needed.
Because the pharmaceutical industry is highly regulated, agents are not expected to market or recommend pharmaceutical products to other clients. Instead, agents simply systematize a customer’s existing products into a subscription model.
Asher shared that Goobat’s pharmacists and partner brands will hold frequent trainings for their agents to gain more knowledge, and the agents will also receive a manual.
Trainings on supplements, vitamins and other products offered by Goobat are also provided from time to time.
High efficiency growth
Goobat was finally able to open a flagship store in Taman Megah, PJ, after five years of planning, acquiring the necessary licenses and building a team, according to Asher.
In the 3,000 square foot space, the pharmacy would house more than 900 brands and 500 vendors covering 20,000 SKUs, and carry just about everything a regular personal hygiene and pharmacy store would offer.
When we last spoke to Asher, he said that a Goobat app was in development because it’s a must-have at this time for a tech company. When asked, he shared that a Goobat app is ready, although it is currently working to help the internal team on some backend operations for the time being.
However, he also mentioned that a more comprehensive version of the app will be released in a few weeks. It is expected to include a G-Lenx machine learning feature where users can take a picture of a product, and the system database will display product details and price.
This feature would be useful for those who have limited product knowledge and who browse pharmacies.
To further push Goobat’s growth, the health tech startup is looking to launch an ECF campaign on pitchIN.
“The target is to raise RM7.5m on pitchIN. But we could close the deal at RM3m as that will be enough for us to expand nationwide,” Asher said.
“Our team is confident the campaign will receive an overwhelming response from savvy investors nationwide who share our belief in making health care more affordable and accessible to everyone.”
In addition, Goobat plans to roll out a nationwide tour to recruit users in rural areas, as the company believes Goobat Kawan can serve them well.
- You can learn more about Goobat.Care here.
- You can access more health technology content here.
Featured Image Credit: Asher Looi, Co-Founder of Goobat