Early this year, Nigerian health-tech startup Remedial Health announced plans to scale within the West African country digitizing pharmacies and bringing efficiency in the pharmaceutical supply chain after raising seed funding.
The YC-backed startup has since February grown its reach from six to 16 states within the populous nation, and plans to cover the remaining 20 as it embarks on a path to deepen its operations across the country. Buoyed by a new $4.4 million equity seed round, Remedial Health is also looking for growth opportunities in East and West Africa.
The latest round was led by Global Ventures, the VC firm that co-led its pre-seed round, with participation from Tencent, Y Combinator, Cathexis Ventures, LightSpeed Venture Partners Scout Fund, Ventures Platform, Alumni Ventures and True Capital Management, and a number of angel investors including Guillaume Luccisano and Christopher Golda.
Founded by Samuel Okwuada (CEO) and Victor Benjamin (COO) in 2020, Remedial Health makes it easy for pharmacies to source pharmaceutical products from major manufacturers and distributors, including GSK, Pfizer and AstraZeneca, as well as Nigeria’s Orange Drugs, Emzor and Fidson healthcare.
By enabling neighborhood pharmacies and hospitals to source from certified merchants, the startup brings in new efficiencies to the pharmaceutical value chains and stems the supply of fake and substandard products. Its inventory financing and loans features helps its clients to increase their basket sizes, and improve their operating efficiencies.
Okwuada said that since the beginning of the year, the startup has grown in leaps owing to the uptake of its digital offering, buy-now-pay-later product, and expansion activities.
“We have seen more than 6x growth in the number of customers on our platform since January. The feedback we constantly receive about what they like the most about our platform is around the ease and efficiency of our inventory finance offering, the variety of products they can access on our platform and the effectiveness of our procurement process – wherever our customers are based in Nigeria, they typically receive their orders within 24 hours,” Okwuada, told TechCrunch, adding that last-mile delivery, backed by its distribution hubs, is done in-house or through its partners.
“The launch of our inventory finance product has also attracted more customers to our platform, as they have been able to take advantage of it to grow their businesses and navigate the challenge of rising prices. More than 60 percent of our customers use the inventory finance product and we have seen more than 50 percent growth in their average basket size since we launched the product,” said Okwuada.
The startup’s digital offering includes a digital procurement platform that enables pharmacies to manage their operations by facilitating the making and tracking of orders. It also supports financial reporting and accounting, while providing real-time market intelligence that improves manufacturers’ decision-making on forecasting, production and distribution.
Its patient medication records (PMR) system gives pharmacies access to client data making their ordering clear-cut and operations more efficient, in the push towards the delivery of more targeted and better healthcare services in their regions of operations.
Like Nigeria’s Drugstoc, Remedial Health is among the increasing health tech startups that are streamlining the pharmaceutical sector across Africa, an industry that has remained fragmented for decades – leading to stock unavailability, quality concerns and erratic pricing.
Global Ventures Principal, Sacha Haider 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 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 though a tech-enabled, pharmacy-centered healthcare network that has allowed over 25% in cost reductions at the point of care.”