By Adedapo Adesanya
To deepen healthcare offerings in the country, Lifestores Healthcare closed a $3 million pre-Series A funding round.
The oversubscribed funding round was led by Health54, CFAO Group’s health-focused venture capital arm, with Aruwa Capital Management as lead manager, along with participation from other existing investors.
Founded in 2017 by Mr. Bryan Mezue, Mr. Ken Ahaotu (pharmacist) and Mr. Andrew Garza, Lifestores Healthcare, a Nigerian health technology company, was originally a chain of retail pharmacies before launching its service OGA pharmacy in 2020.
With this investment, Lifestores will expand across Nigeria, enhance its software capabilities and reach new customer segments. To do this, it plans to expand its sales and engineering teams, as well as its senior management.
Lifestores operates an online business-to-business (B2B) pharmaceutical marketplace, OGApharmacy, which offers pharmacies 10-20% group discounts, state-of-the-art supply chain software and confidence that drugs are genuine and not dangerous counterfeits .
With a monthly market growth of 25% to date, OGApharmacy claims to count more than 10% of Nigerian pharmacies among its registered customers.
Mr. Andrew Garza, the company’s co-founder and chief operating officer, said, “Our scope goes beyond simple drug distribution and price stabilization. Essentially, pharmaceutical wholesalers are the “banks” of the healthcare supply chain in Nigeria, and their impact on the overall economy is far-reaching. By optimizing how we extend credit to our healthcare provider partners and modernizing patient access to healthcare financing, we are able to drive partner growth and increase patient access. patients to quality care.
Lifestores also aims to increase the number of OGApharmacy customers from 10% to 25% of the total market share in Nigeria, increasing the number of patients reached by 4 times from 100,000 to 400,000 by 2023.
To drive growth, Lifestores will open a new fulfillment center in Lagos and launch new technology features as part of its B2B offerings, including pharmacy management software, AI-powered predictive ordering, advanced credit offerings and patient management initiatives.
In addition, the startup will leverage CFAO Healthcare’s existing wholesale distribution capabilities in Nigeria and across Africa, as well as Health54’s growing network of healthcare innovators and providers.
It will also expand its Business-to-Customers (B2C) services with patient savings, care management and drug delivery pilots.
“We are delighted to have Health54 join our mission to democratize access to affordable, quality primary healthcare in Sub-Saharan Africa, together with existing investors, such as Aruwa Capital and the Lionbear Consortium,” said Mr. Bryan Mezue, Co-Founder and CEO. of Lifestores Healthcare.
“The vast majority of Africans will go to their local pharmacy for treatment. Our goal is to support pharmacists, the unsung heroes of healthcare in Africa, with the essential services they need to source and deliver safe and affordable medicines to their patients,” he said.
“We are proud and happy to make our first investment with Health54 in Nigeria and in Lifestores. We have been impressed with the hands-on experience of Bryan and Andrew who have run several retail pharmacies in Nigeria. In two years, they built a leading distribution platform with OGAPharmacy. As a strategic partner, we are excited to work together and bring the benefits of our vertically integrated pharmaceutical supply chain, so that we can support more patients in Nigeria and beyond with quality primary healthcare. “, according to Mr. Côme Vercken, Managing Director, Health54.