Glasgow-based digital pharmacy Phlo says it can now embark on a “substantial period of growth and expansion” after smashing through its crowdfunding target.
After reaching £1.65 million on the first day, the firm says it plans to extend its Crowdcube campaign due to the high levels of demand, particularly during the Covid-19 crisis.
Phlo says the funding will help support the scaling up of the on-demand, same-day delivery service. There will also be a further investment to implement and develop new features and technologies as well as a significant recruitment drive.
From October 2019, demand and patient numbers have been growing consistently, but in the period since Covid-19 became a significant public health issue, growth has “exceeded all expectations,” Phlo said.
Since the start of 2020, Phlo has seen a 73% growth in average MOM revenue, a 43% growth in average MOM patient numbers and a 93% uplift in staff numbers.
Commenting on the crowdfund and expansion plans, founder and CEO of Phlo, Nadeem Sarwar, said: “The response we’ve received to the crowdfunding has been incredible and I’d like to say a massive thank you to all those who are investing and in particular those who have supported us from the start.
“Last-generation online pharmacy services have been around for a while, but what we’re doing at Phlo is innovative, and given the current environment, we would anticipate demand growing consistently.
“There will, of course, always be a place for bricks and mortar pharmacies, but whether you are working from home or in an office, the convenience of on-demand delivery is becoming the norm, and what consumers expect.
“I am also proud that we’re able to provide high-quality jobs in Glasgow and across the UK, and we are determined to play our part in the economic recovery.”
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The company began as a delivery prescription service by bike courier in Glasgow. However, after seeing considerable demand for its services, started providing deliveries throughout England. Most on-demand same-day deliveries are now completed within two hours.
Founded by Sarwar in 2019, Phlo is dually headquartered in Glasgow and London and is the first real-time same-day delivery pharmacy in Britain. The business currently employs 32 staff across the UK, most of which are “high-value technology and pharmacy roles”. Staff numbers are expected to reach around 200 in 2021.
Phlo says it intends to launch its service outside of London in Birmingham later this year with plans to expand into five cities over the next two years.