Young social impact startup TheSocialMedwork which works to solve the problem of access to medicines across the world has signed new funding and the first of new high profile ‘ambassadors’.
Social Impact Ventures has agreed to further fund the fast growing healthcare startup. TheSocialMedwork was already angel-funded by acclaimed Silicon Valley healthcare investor-activist Esther Dyson for approximately $2.9 million. Social Impact Ventures agreed upon an additional $1.7 million funding.
Social Impact Ventures, the largest Dutch social impact venture capital fund, empowers entrepreneurs to solve pressing social or environmental challenges. At its helm is Willemijn Verloop, former founder and chief executive of War Child.
“It takes game-changers who see things differently to create social movements. Our mandate is to seek out those who can put their idealism to work. Sjaak and the team at TheSocialMedwork showed us that they have the drive, passion and ability to open up best medicine for everyone and make a real change on a global scale.” says Verloop. “This investment in TheSocialMedwork is a meeting of hearts and minds.”
Willemijn Verloop will join TheSocialMedwork’s new Supervisory Board. Verloop will be joined on the board by Neelie Kroes, former EU Commissioner, highly regarded politician and a key figure in the Dutch start-up ecosystem. Kroes made a name campaigning for fairness in international business practices and in 2008 dished out record fines of 1.8 billion euros (at the time) for cartel pricing as EU Commissioner for Competition. “Healthcare has lost sight of the people it serves. TheSocialMedwork is solving an understated problem, one which was consistently recognised by the EU Council: the unacceptable gap in the availability of medicines.”
TheSocialMedwork, founded in 2015 by Sjaak Vink, makes the latest approved medicines accessible to patients and doctors in countries where medicines are not (yet) available (with a focus on life-threatening and debilitating illnesses). Vink has a vision to build a unified global health platform where medicines are accessible and affordable for everyone.
Helping patients access unavailable medicines is just the first step in building a new universal health platform that applies new thinking, new opportunities and new technology to solving the world’s healthcare issues.
“We are excited Neelie and Willemijn join us in our mission at the same time that we achieve deliveries of these kind of medicines to patients and doctors in over 70 countries. We were unaware there is such a high need in so many countries and are honoured to be able to play a small role in helping every patient and doctor. With the new funds from Social Impact Ventures we intend to further professionalise and scale-up our systems, recruit new staff and enable our service to help more patients and doctors. For me, we are responsible for not only helping people right now, but also help creating a sustainable future alternative that serves everyone.” said Founder and CEO Sjaak Vink.
TheSocialMedwork helps people access medicines that are not currently available in the Middle East but approved by foreign health regulatory authorities, such as the U.S. FDA and EMA. Using existing legal structures for ‘named patient’ imports, the medical startup, which is fully licensed and regulated by the Ministry of Health in The Netherlands, delivers to patients across the GCC. Over 20% of the TheSocialMedwork’s business is from helping people in the Middle East and demand for medicines via the platform is growing rapidly.