mPharma, a Ghanaian health tech firm, is establishing a network of community pharmacies throughout Africa with the goal of becoming the region’s major healthcare suppliers for millions of individuals.
After receiving $35 million in Series D financing, the firm has stepped out to deploy more Mutti pharmacies in order to expand its reach and develop its technological infrastructure as it prepares for the next stage of expansion.
The transaction consists of $30 million in equity and $5 million in debt from CitiBank, bringing mPharma’s total funding to $65 million.
JAM Fund, a venture capital company founded by Tinder co-founder Justin Mateen, Unbound, a growth investment startup founded by Shravin Mittal, managing director Bharti Global Limited (Bharti family investment arm), and Lux Capital, a New York City-based VC firm investing in science and tech ventures, were among the investors in the round. Northstar, Social Capital, Novastar, and TO Ventures are among the other investors.
To be the first point of treatment for patients, mPharma wants to expand its community (Mutti) pharmacies across eight African markets.
Mutti pharmacies are basically mini-hospitals that provide a variety of services such as medical consultations, diagnostics, and telemedicine. All of this while boosting the availability and cost of high-quality medications.
The new capital will be utilized to enhance the company’s data infrastructure, increase its depth of talent over the next three years, and assist expansion goals in existing and new markets, according to mPharma co-founder and CEO Gregory Rockson. It’s also launching a pharmaceutical e-commerce portal.
According to Rockson, the company is recruiting over 100 engineers to construct all of its technology in-house, which involves a vast data infrastructure.
As a result, the firm is also investing in other trained individuals, such as doctors and nurses, who are crucial to the work it does.
He also stated that Bloom, the pharmacy management software, will allow Mutti pharmacies to create organized public health datasets, allowing them to deliver better care paths to the communities they serve.
Rockson, Daniel Shoukimas, and James Finucane launched mPharma in 2013 with the goal of managing prescription medicine inventory for pharmacies and their vendors, retail pharmacy operations, and providing market intelligence to hospitals, pharmacies, and patients.
The business included telehealth services to its platform in October of last year, capitalizing on the telemedicine boom that followed the Covid epidemic. Rockson stated that the business hoped to have 100 virtual centers operational within six months.
The number of virtual centers is expected to grow even more in the coming years, as mPharma plans to expand its community pharmacy by tenfold in the next three years, from the present 200.
The virtual services are now available to patients in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, Malawi, Rwanda, and Ethiopia, where mPharma has a presence.
mPharma also has a presence in Gabon, where it has a government contract to establish a medicine supply chain infrastructure.
Companies like mPharma are addressing healthcare disparities by providing important services directly to communities via pharmacies and community health checks, among other methods.
Aside from a low doctor-to-patient ratio, healthcare infrastructure is also severely lacking.
To provide a full range of services, mPharma has launched an e-commerce portal called Mutti Online Pharmacy, which allows its users to buy pharmaceutical products.
They are now only providing over-the-counter medications in Ghana, with intentions to expand to include prescription medicines in the near future.
Mutti Online Pharmacy, owned by mPharma, is now one of only a few purely digital pharmacies operating in Africa, alongside Kenya’s MyDawa.
In recent months, mPharma has begun on a variety, collaboration, and expansion strategy to allow the firm to develop.
It bought a 55 percent stake in Uganda’s Vine Pharmacy, which was formerly owned by the Abraaj Group, a few months ago.
It also penetrated Ethiopia in March of last year, through its subsidiary Haltons Limited, by establishing a franchise arrangement with Belayab Pharmaceuticals.
Helena Foulkes, former president of CVS, the biggest pharmacy retail chain in the United States, and Daniel Vasella, ex-CEO, and chairman of Novartis, are both members of the board of directors for mPharma.
Other investors include CDC Group, Breyer Capital, and Golden Palm Investments, all of which are based in the United Kingdom.
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