mPharma, an Accra-based pharmaceuticals platform recently raised $17m from UK’s CDC Group to drive supply chain efficiencies for pharmaceuticals in Africa.
mPharma says the investment was co-led by the CDC Group under Venture Scale-Up Programme. CDC made the investment in mPharma alongside Novastar Ventures, a CDC-backed venture capital fund manager, which led the company’s Series C funding round.
According to Stephen Priestley, Managing Director, Funds and Capital Partnerships, at CDC, said: “I am delighted to announce our co-investment in mPharma, alongside Novastar Ventures, a key partner for CDC, to support the company in developing a more efficient supply chain for pharmaceutical products across Africa.”
CDC’s investment in mPharma through the programme will enable the company to expand its retail network by an additional 500 pharmacies, reduce the risk of counterfeit medication, and decrease cost of essential medicines to end consumers over the next several years.
mPharma partners with community pharmacies, using technology and data to aggregate demands and create efficient supply chains within the vast and fragmented pharmaceutical market in Africa.
mPharma currently operates in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and serves approximately one million patients annually, through a network of over 400 pharmacies.
In the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic, the company has partnered with medical laboratories in Ghana, Nigeria and Zambia, and converted the labs into testing centres that rapidly increase the number of available tests.
So far, mPharma has procured and distributed 700,000 testing kits and 120 PCR medical equipment to medical labs in eight African countries. Read more on mPharma’s COVID-19 response here.
This approach allows the company to distribute quality pharmaceutical products at a significantly lower cost than competitors and provided affordable and accessible healthcare to end consumers across the continent
Gregory Rockson, Co-founder and CEO of mPharma, said: “We look forward to working with CDC Group due to its deep roots in Africa, extensive government contacts and expertise in environmental, social and governance practices.”
In April last year, The Skoll Foundation announced mPharma as a recipient of the 2019 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship. In addition to this, mPharma entered into an agreement to acquire Haltons Pharmacy, Kenya’s 2nd biggest Pharmacy Chain.
Earlier, it had raised a $6.6 million Series A round to provide doctors, patients, and pharmacists access to a network of high quality chronic disease medicines at sustainable prices.
The round was led by India’s Shravin Bharti Mittal, Social Capital, Golden Palm Investments and 4DX Ventures. Several investors from Senegal, Kenya, and Turkey also participated in the round. Jim Breyer, an early Facebook investor also invested and joined the board.
This is the firm’s second-biggest raise after it raised $5 million led by Social Capital in 2015.