Itochu invests in Singapore’s Docquity to expand health business in SE Asia

05, Mar. 2019

TOKYO, NNA – Japanese trading house Itochu Corp. is investing $6 million in Singapore’s operator of specialized social media for doctors, Docquity Holdings Pte. Ltd. to expand its healthcare business in Southeast Asia.

Through private share placements, Itochu became a “major” investor in Docquity last month, Itochu spokesman Kenji Katsumoto told NNA on Monday. He declined to comment on the share of the investment Itochu holds.

Docquity does not charge doctors to use its networking service, but earns fees from pharmaceutical firms and medical equipment makers for allowing them to post information about their products and services, he said.

It currently connects about 80,000 doctors across the region, according to a statement by Itochu.

Katsumoto said the number of doctors registered with the networking service is increasing by 3,000 to 5,000 a month.

The service allows doctors to share the latest information on treatment and medication, which will help narrow the gap in medical expertise among different countries.

More than 50,000 doctors are registered for the service in Indonesia, over half of all the country’s physicians, while the rest of the membership is from Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand.

Katsumoto declined to disclose the breakdown of the members by country, but said there are an estimated 41,000 doctors in Malaysia, 126,000 in the Philippines and 27,000 in Thailand.

Itochu aims to expand the number of Docquity doctors via its networks from medical institutions in Asia, while involving Japanese pharmaceutical and medical equipment makers to enhance the content of the platform, he said.

Docquity was founded by Indranil Roychowdhury in India in 2013 and is headquartered in Singapore.