Earlier this year, Nigerian health tech startup Improving health announced plans to scale up within the West African country the digitization of pharmacies and bring efficiency to the pharmaceutical supply chain after increasing seed funding.
The YC-backed startup has since February grown its reach from six to 16 states within the populous nation and plans to cover 20 more as it embarks on a path to deepen its operations across the country. Buoyed by a new capital round of $4.4 million, Remedial Health is also looking for growth opportunities in East and West Africa.
The latest round was led by Global Ventures, the VC firm that co-led its pre-seed round, with participation from Tencent, Y Combinator, Cathexis Ventures, LightSpeed Venture Partners Scout Fund, Ventures Platform, Alumni Ventures and True Capital Management, and a number of angel investors including Guillaume Luccisano and Christopher Golda.
Founded by Samuel Okwuada (CEO) and Victor Benjamin (COO) in 2020, Remedial Health makes it easy for pharmacies to source pharmaceutical products from leading manufacturers and distributors, including GSK, Pfizer and AstraZeneca, as well as Orange Drugs Nigeria, Emzor and Fidson Healthcare.
By enabling neighborhood pharmacies and hospitals to source from certified dealers, the startup brings new efficiencies to pharmaceutical value chains and stops the supply of fake and substandard products. Inventory and loan financing features help its customers increase their basket size and improve their operational efficiency.
Okwuada said that since the beginning of the year, the startup has grown by leaps and bounds due to the use of its digital offering, buy-now-pay-later product and expansion activities.
“We’ve seen more than a 6x increase in the number of customers on our platform since January. The feedback we consistently receive about what they like best about our platform is around the ease and efficiency of our inventory financing offering, the variety of products that can be accessed on our platform, and the effectiveness of our procurement process – wherever our customers are based in Nigeria, they usually receive their orders within 24 hours,” Okwuada told TechCrunch, adding that last-mile delivery, supported by its distribution centers, is done in-house or through its partners.
“The launch of our inventory finance product has also attracted more customers to our platform as they have been able to take advantage of it to grow their businesses and navigate the challenge of rising prices. More than 60 percent of our customers use the inventory financing product and we have seen more than 50 percent increase in their average basket size since we launched the product,” Okwuada said.
The startup’s digital offering includes a digital procurement platform that enables pharmacies to manage their operations by facilitating order placement and tracking. It also supports financial reporting and accounting, while providing real-time market intelligence that improves manufacturers’ decision-making for forecasting, production and distribution.
Its Patient Medication Record (PMR) system gives pharmacies access to customer data making their orders clearer and operations more efficient, driving more targeted and better care services health in their regions of operations.
Like Nigeria DrugstockRemedial Health is among the growing health tech startups that are reshaping the pharmaceutical sector across Africa, an industry that for decades has remained fragmented – leading to stock shortages, quality concerns and erratic pricing.
Global Ventures Director Sacha Haider said, “The market opportunity to serve community pharmacies across Africa is significant. In Nigeria alone, 500,000 community pharmacies drive over 80% of a $70 billion market in sales annual pharmaceutical The team at Remedial Health is proactively addressing challenges including price uncertainty, poor drug quality control and a highly fragmented supply chain through a technology-enabled, pharmacy-centric healthcare network. that has allowed over 25% cost reduction at the point of care.
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