The African continent has experienced severe challenges in its pharmaceutical supply chains for decades leaving many people without access to medication. TechCrunch reports, “In response, the co-founders created and piloted a tech-based platform in 2015 linking manufacturers with distributors. This plan failed to take-off as it immediately became clear that a platform alone would not suffice.”
In 2017, the outlet reports, those co-founders Chibuzo Opara and Adham Yehia launched DrugStoc officially to connect drug store companies with hospitals and pharmacies in Nigeria. The new model, however, proved to be successful due to new infrastructures such as fulfillment centers and warehouses to facilitate orders, packaging, shipment of products, and customer support units.
Since its inception, the e-health drug procurement platform has delivered pharmaceutical products to 100 million people and has connected 400 manufacturers to 3,200 doctors, hospitals and pharmacies. The company plans to move into 16 states in Nigeria, and this will now be possible after a successful seed round.
TechCrunch reports, DrugStoc raised $4.4 million in a Series A funding round led by Africa HealthCare Master Fund, Vested World, the German Development Bank and others. The investors will play a key role in the sector’s continued growth.
“In Nigeria, we intend to expand beyond 14 million we currently serve to cover just around 100 million people. And this would be achieved by expanding to about 16 states. Once we are done with the heavy lifting from that expansion, we will be training our sights on other countries,” a statement from DrugStoc read, according to TechCrunch.
Along with expanding into other regions, DrugStoc plans to open more fulfillment centers and increase transit points and routes. In addition, they hope to provide more improved logistic alternatives for deliveries projected to be tardy. The founders plan to tap into more investment prospects in cold chain infrastructure with the hope of creating safer distribution for perishable items. To further this goal they also plan to create partnerships with financial organizations that will lead to opportunities for sustainable supply chain financing.