Nigerian e-health pharmaceutical distribution startup, DrugStoc has secured $4.4 million in a Series A funding round led by Africa HealthCare Master Fund (AAIC), Chicago-based venture firm Vested World, German Development Bank (DEG) amongst others.
According to a press release by the company to Nairametrics, the secured fund will enable the startup to expand access to quality medicines and also provide sustainable supply chain financing for healthcare providers in Sub-Saharan Africa.
This will also allow the cloud-based platform to get quality medicines at affordable prices, thereby boosting superior quality control systems with International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certification on Good Distribution Practice.
What they are saying
Nobuhiko Ichimiya, Director at AAIC, said, “We are very excited to be part of the DrugStoc journey. The pharmaceutical market in Africa has enormous growth potential and we are glad to back a company well-positioned to be a key player in the sector’s growth in sub-Saharan Africa.”
Also expressing excitement on the deal, Liam O’Connor, who is also among a group of individual Silicon Valley investors, noted that DrugStoc has demonstrated impressive growth and the ability to improve healthcare providers’ access to pharmaceuticals in Nigeria. He said, “I am excited to support DrugStoc’s innovative work; building a reliable, resilient, and high-quality pharmaceutical supply chain across Africa. I am confident that DrugStoc will succeed in making a critical healthcare difference that will help save lives.”
Whilst it is expected that Africa’s pharmaceutical industry will be worth between $56 billion to $70 billion by 2030, from the just $5.5 billion recorded in 2007, the broken supply chain and chaotic distribution channels on the continent is said to pose a significant challenge, affecting the delivery of quality medicines, affordability of pharmaceuticals as well as efficient healthcare delivery for health workers.
To solve the supply chain challenges, Chibuzo Opara, DrugStoc’s co-founder and CEO highlighted innovation as a key opportunity in the growing market. He said, “Fragile and resource-challenged healthcare systems require a radically transformative set of market-based strategies to expand access to healthcare. The DrugStoc way re-engineers the value chain digitally, improving and expanding access to healthcare at the same time.”
What you should know about DrugStoc
Though launched in 2017, DrugStoc was incubated under Stanford’s Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies in 2016 and emerged as one of the ten finalists for the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative, Jack Ma’s flagship entrepreneur program in Africa.
It also won the award for the Technology Enabled Distributor of the year, at the Nigeria Health Excellence Award in 2019 and 2021.