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Ghanian health startup mPharma raises $35million for its expansion

The startup plans to grow its community (Mutti) pharmacies across eight markets in Africa to be the first point of care for patients.


Ghanian health startup mPharma raises $35million for its expansion

Ghanian health tech startup mPharma, plans to set up more pharmacies to widen its reach after raising $35 million in Series D round.

The startup plans to grow its community (Mutti) pharmacies across eight markets in Africa to be the first point of care for patients.

These Mutti pharmacies are essentially mini-hospitals offering a wide-range of services including medical consultation, diagnostic and telehealth services while increasing access and affordability to quality medication.

The new funding, according to mPharma co-founder and CEO Gregory Rockson, will be used to build the startup’s data infrastructure, triple its talent pool over the next three years and support expansion plans in its current and new markets.

It is also rolling out an e-commerce platform for pharmaceuticals.

“We are hiring over 100 engineers to build all our technology in-house and this includes a massive data infrastructure we are creating. We are also investing in other skilled talent like doctors and nurses, professionals that are critical in the work we do,” said Rockson.

“​​Bloom our pharmacy management software will allow us to build structured population health datasets that enable Mutti pharmacies to provide better care pathways to the community they serve,” he said.

The financing raised comprises US$30 million in equity and US$5 million in debt from CitiBank, bringing the total amount raised by mPharma to US$65 million.

Investors that participated in the round include JAM Fund; a venture capital firm founded by Tinder co-founder Justin Mateen, Unbound; a growth investment firm by Shravin Mittal the managing director Bharti Global limited (Bharti family investment arm) and the first investment in Africa for Lux Capital; a New-York City based VC firm investing in science and tech ventures.

Other investors include Northstar, Social Capital, Novastar and TO Ventures.

Patients in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, Malawi, Rwanda and Ethiopia, where mPharma has a presence, now have access to the virtual services.

mPharma is also present in Gabon where it has a contract with the government to build a drug supply chain infrastructure.

mPharma community pharmacies conduct regular community health outreaches for random health checks and to educate the masses.

COVID-19 pandemic showed us that the best form of care is local, it is in the community, and the closest thing in communities are pharmacies. We believe that the pharmacy of the future, which is what we are creating, is one built around longitudinal care not episodic care,” said Rockson.

mPharma new platforms and acquisitions

mPharma rolled out an ecommerce platform — the Mutti Online Pharmacy — a few weeks ago, allowing its members to shop for pharmaceutical products.

Starting in Ghana, they are initially only dispensing over-the-counter medication, but with plans to include prescription drugs in the near future.

mPharma’s Mutti Online Pharmacy is now among the handful of exclusively digital pharmacies, including Kenya’s MyDawa, with operations in Africa.

mPharma has also in recent months embarked on a diversification, partnerships and expansion strategies to grow the company.

A few months ago it acquired a 55% stake in Uganda’s Vine Pharmacy, which was previously held by the Abraaj Group.

It also entered Ethiopia in March last year by signing a franchise agreement with Belayab Pharmaceuticals through its subsidiary, Haltons Limited.

mPharma enjoys expertise backing from well-experienced professions in the pharmaceutical industry including Helena Foulkes, former president of CVS, the largest pharmacy retail chain in the U.S. and Daniel Vasella, ex-CEO and chairman of Novartis; both are members of the board.

The startup’s other investors include U.K.’s development arm CDC Group, Breyer Capital and Golden Palm Investments.

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