Lifestores Healthcare, a Nigerian healthtech startup, has raised $3 million in an oversubscribed pre-Series A round aimed at expanding its pharmaceutical marketplace across Nigeria.
The round was co-led by Health54 and Aruwa Capital Management, and other existing investors participated.
“We’re proud and happy to make our first investment with Health54 in Nigeria and in Lifestores. We were impressed with Bryan and Andrew’s on-the-ground experience of having run multiple retail pharmacies in Nigeria,” said Côme Vercken, Managing Director, Health54, on the investment. “In two years, they have built a first-rate distribution platform with OGApharmacy. As a strategic partner, we’re delighted to work together and bring the benefits of our vertically integrated pharmaceutical supply chain so we can support more patients in Nigeria and beyond with quality primary healthcare.”
The company will use the funding to expand in Nigeria, enhance its software, and target new client demographics. It will also grow its senior management, sales, and engineering teams.
Andrew Garza (COO) and Bryan Mezue (CEO) founded Lifestores Healthcare in 2017 as a chain of retail pharmacies using technology to provide various services.
There are two B2B components to Lifestores. The first is the B2B marketplace called OGApharmacy. Launched during the pandemic in 2020 that allows pharmacies and hospitals aggregate their purchasing needs, with which Lifestores negotiates with suppliers for the lowest possible price on high-quality medications, thereby getting 10 to 20% discounts for them. The other is an ERP system that pharmacies and dispensaries can use to run their operations.
Lifestores Healthcare provides its services through a network of more than 750 outlets. The healthtech outfit said it’s experiencing a 25% monthly marketplace growth and counts more than 10% of Nigeria’s pharmacies as registered customers; it plans to expand its market share to 25%, which will increase the number of patients reached by 4x from 100,000 to 400,000 by 2023.
To drive this growth, Lifestores will open a new Lagos processing centre and launch new technology features as part of its B2B offerings, including pharmacy management software, AI-driven predictive ordering, advanced credit offerings, and patient management initiatives, it said in a statement. Lifestores will also expand its B2C services, with pilots in patient savings, care management, and ”
Lifestores’ seed round becomes Health54’s first investment on the continent. The recently launched firm is the healthcare-dedicated corporate venture capital (CVC) vehicle of CFAO Group (part of Toyota Tsusho), which has the largest healthcare distribution channel in sub-Saharan Africa.
This investment will see Lifestores leverage Health54’s increasing network of health services providers and CFAO Healthcare’s existing wholesale distribution capabilities in Nigeria and across Africa should it plan regional expansion down the line. But for now, the healthtech wants to fuel growth in Nigeria, improve its software capabilities, reach new customer segments and ramp up hiring across sales and engineering teams and senior management.