mPharma to launch e-commerce platform for pharmaceuticals with $35 million funding

Ghanaian health startup, mPharma has raised $35 million in a Series D round to embark on pan-African expansion and launch an e-commerce platform.

mPharma to launch e-commerce platform for pharmaceuticals with $35 million funding

mPharma, a Ghanaian health startup, has raised $35 million in a Series D round led by Citigroup Inc.

Founded in 2013, mPharma is building a drug monitoring system, connecting patients, hospitals and pharmacies, with a goal of ensuring reliable and safe access to medicines.

With this new funding, mPharma will build its data infrastructure, increase its talent pool for the next three years and support pan-African expansion plans in its current and new markets. The funding will also be used to launch mPharma's e-commerce platform for pharmaceuticals.

mPharma co-founder and CEO Gregory Rockson said, "We are focusing on growth in West and East Africa and 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 talents like doctors and nurses, professionals that are critical in the work we do".

Rockson added that the mPharma pharmacy management software will allow them to build structured health data sets that would enable their Mutti pharmacies to provide better care pathways to the community they serve.

Mutti is a prescription drug service designed to enable customers receive high quality medications at lower prices through flexible payment terms.

A few weeks ago, to offer all-rounded services, mPharma rolled out an ecommerce platform — Mutti Online Pharmacy — that allows its members to easily shop for pharmaceutical products.

Starting in Ghana, they are initially only dispensing over-the-counter medication but have 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, operating in Africa.

Other investors that participated in the round are: JAM Fund, a venture capital firm founded by Tinder co-founder Justin Mateen; Unbound, a growth investment firm by Shravin Mittal, the managing director of Bharti Global limited (Bharti family investment arm); Lux Capital; Northstar; Social Capital; Novastar; and TO Ventures.

The $35 million funding raised comprises $30 million in equity and $5 million in debt from Citibank. This Series D funding brings the total amount raised by mPharma to $65 million.

The startup is also expanding its so-called Mutti community pharmacies to include consultation and diagnostic services. Aside from Ghana, mPharma operates in Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, Malawi, Rwanda, Gabon and Ethiopia.

mPharma had acquired a 55% stake in Uganda’s Vine Pharmacy in October 2021, two years after it bought Kenya’s Haltons Pharmacy for $5 million — that marked mPharma’s launch into East Africa. The World Economic Forum also named mPharma as one of the 100 most promising Technology Pioneers of 2021.

Against the recommended ratio of 84.2 doctors per 10,000 population, sub-Saharan Africa has an average of 0.23 doctors, according to the World Health Organization. This disparity can be closed up through telemedicine.

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