Remedial Health, a health tech startup that develops solutions to make Africa’s pharmaceutical value chain more efficient, has raised $4.4 million in seed funding to accelerate its expansion across Nigeria and to provide access to credit for inventory purchases for its growing customer base of neighbourhood pharmacies, Proprietary Patent Medicine Vendors (PPMVs) and hospitals in the country.
The seed funding round was led by Global Ventures – a leading MEA venture capital firm, who re-invested after participating in the previous round. Tencent, Y Combinator, Cathexis Ventures, LightSpeed Venture Partners Scout Fund, Ventures Platform, Alumni Ventures and True Capital Management also participated in the round which included prominent angel investors such as Guillaume Luccisano and Christopher Golda.
Remedial Health provides a range of solutions, including its digital procurement and PMR (patient medication records) platforms that make it easier for neighbourhood pharmacies, PPMVs and hospitals to access affordable and authentic retail medicines. Healthcare providers can source vetted medications at prices the same, or better, than open-air medicine market prices – with 24-hour delivery to their practice via Remedial Health’s logistics network. In addition to procurement, pharmacies and PPMVs can access credit to fund inventory purchases and provide loans and salary advances for employees.
Since January 2022, Remedial Health has seen a 600 per cent increase in sales volumes and the company now covers 16 of Nigeria’s 36 states. This new funding will support the rollout of its services across the rest of Nigeria, and also lay the groundwork for expansion across Africa in 2023.
The impact of various global events from the last three years – from the COVID-19 pandemic to rising inflation – has led to a sharp increase in the price of medicines in Nigeria. For neighbourhood pharmacies and Proprietary Patent Medicine Vendors (PPMVs) that represent the main source of medicines for the majority of Nigerians, these price increases mean there is added pressure to balance the need to provide lifesaving medicines to their communities and the need to run their businesses effectively. There is also the challenge of an opaque supply chain where manufacturers have limited or delayed visibility into what is happening on the frontlines, which means pharmacies and PPMVs are often left to make do with what they can get, rather than what they need.
By leveraging Remedial Health’s tech-enabled platform, neighbourhood pharmacies, PPMVs and hospitals can benefit from group/bulk buying discounts, time-saving and improved efficiency, access to credit to improve their earnings, as well as additional revenue from providing financial services and other primary healthcare services. Manufacturers also benefit from an efficient supply chain, a clear and instant route-to-market for their products and real-time intelligence on product utilization to improve decision-making on forecasting, production and distribution.
According to Samuel Okwuada, CEO and co-founder of Remedial Health, “Neighbourhood pharmacies and PPMVs have the potential to be the face of a thriving healthcare system in Africa, and we believe that technology can play a significant role in making this vision a reality. The funds that we have raised and the strategic support from our investors will enable us to deliver the solutions to address various challenges that have hampered these businesses’ growth for many years, and make it easier to safeguard lives and livelihoods across the continent for years to come”
Sacha Haider, Principal at Global Ventures, said, “The market opportunity to serve community pharmacies across Africa is significant; in Nigeria alone, 500,000 community pharmacies drive over 80% of a 70 billion dollar market in annual pharmaceutical sales. The team at Remedial Health is proactively addressing challenges including price opacity, poor drug quality control and a very fragmented supply chain, head-on to create a tech-enabled, pharmacy-centred healthcare network that has allowed over 25% in cost reductions at the point of care. We are excited to partner with Sam on his mission to improve access to quality and affordable healthcare in Africa through optimized pharmaceutical supply chains”.