mPharma raises US$17m funding round led by Novartis Ventures

GHANA – mPharma, a tech-enabled healthcare company developing a more efficient supply chain for pharmaceutical products across Africa, has completed a US$17 million fundraising round.  

The Accra based medicine benefits and inventory manager, which was founded in 2013 by Gregory Rockson, Daniel Shoukimas and James Finucane, aims to increase patient access to affordable high-quality medications.  

According to Quartz Africa, Helena Foulkes, former president of CVS, the largest pharmacy retail chain in the US, had been appointed to the company’s board.   

The investment round was led by Novastar Ventures with participation from the CDC Group alongside existing investors including former Novartis CEO and chairman Daniel Vasella, Silicon Valley investor Jim Breyer and Dompe Holdings. 

The latest announcement comes after mPharma raised over US$9-million in a Series-B funding round in January last year.  

At the time it did not disclose the investors that took part in that round, but Crunchbase lists them as Martin Li, Justin Mateen, Golden Palm Investments and 4DX Ventures.  

This funding will help the company to expand its vendor management inventory (VMI) system and QualityRx platforms which are being used by 250 pharmacies in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe.  

Commenting on the new investment, Rockson said that the round was closed before the Covid-19 hit hard.  

Taking a poke at the Silicon Valley mentality towards investment rounds being a marker for success, he added: “I have never celebrated fundraising as it is not a sign of success. It only means you have more time and pressure to succeed”.  

Rocksoc said he believed that the company is in a strong position to weather the pandemic. “We generated more revenue last month than we did in all of Q1. We even made a profit,” he added.  

Recently, Rockson announced in a tweet that the startup planned to equip and re-purpose private labs into Covid-19 testing centres.  He said the company would start in Ghana and before expanding the programme to Nigeria, Kenya, and Zambia.  

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