Impact: Proof of Concept → Transition to Scale

Based in Bangladesh, Jeeon is an enterprise creating a digital marketplace of 1,000+ pharmacies and hospitals delivering high-quality affordable healthcare to last mile patients.

Jeeon underwent a major pivot during Frontier Innovators resulting from the advice received from the custom technical assistance they received. This improved the company’s resilience and brought them one step closer to sustainability.

“Our original goal was to increase the range of products and services we offered through our e-learning platform, in order to increase the stickiness and appeal to pharmacies.” With funding from Frontier Innovators, Jeeon piloted expanding their e-learning platform that  allows village doctors to upskill themselves and connect/refer patients to quality formal providers. Through case solving games and triage algorithms, village doctors can learn and apply the proper treatment and prescription protocols for simple cases. During implementation, Jeeon reached 1800+ village doctors using their e- learning application from its launch in April 2018 to September 2018. However, Jeeon soon realised that  “adding new products and services involved too much effort” and they could not scale fast enough to retain pharmacies on the platform, leading to lower than expected monthly active user numbers, and in turn reducing the likelihood of attracting new product and service partners on the platform.

At the same time that Jeeon was implementing this pilot, they were receiving additional capacity building support from IDInsight and LightCastle Partners under Frontier Innovators to help validate their impact and commercial pathway to scale respectively. “We realized through LightCastles support that our best commercial bet was not e-learning but rather pursuing e-commerce with pharmaceutical companies. That led to a pivot in our operational focus and we invested the remainder of the grant in designing and building out the e-commerce platform, which was later launched in February 2019.”

Today, Jeeon is still pursuing that e-commerce based strategy to disintermediate wholesalers and connect retail pharmacies directly with manufacturers. They have secured three pharmaceutical partners and have processed over $150,000 of orders through the platform as of June 2020. Jeeon also rolled out a non-pharmaceutical distribution footprint to 800 pharmacies across two districts in Bangladesh. “Overall, noted Khan, “we feel that we are on a more promising path towards financial sustainability at the moment, even though our initial hypotheses and trajectory did not fully yield results.”

Since Frontier Innovators Jeeon has gone on to be a part of Equity@Scale’s Future 500 program, which is part of Frontier Brokers.