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Ghanaian startup mPharma raises $17m investment

Ghanaian healthtech startup mPharma has reportedly raised a $17-million investment.

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

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Quartz Africa announced the raise in an article yesterday, adding that Helena Foulkes, former president of CVS, the largest pharmacy retail chain in the US, had been appointed to the company’s board.

The publication said the CDC Group, UK’s development finance arm led the round. Existing investors including former Novartis CEO and chairman Daniel Vasella, Silicon Valley investor Jim Breyer and Dompe Holdings also took part in the investment round.

CDC Group, UK’s development finance arm, reportedly mPharma’s $17m investment round

The latest announcement comes after mPharma raised over $9-million in a Series-B funding round in January last year (see this story).

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.

Quartz Africa said the latest 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 today, Rockson said in a tweet (see above) 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”.

In an earlier tweet he 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.

Covid-19 testing centres

Last month 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.

The company revealed in a newsletter at the time that it is also working with the Red Cross to set up testing centres in “fragile” countries starting in Zimbabwe. 

In April last year mPharma was named as one of five winners of the 2019 Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship.

Based on reported deals, business information platform Crunchbase estimates that — including this latest investment — mPharma has raised a total of $38.3-million in funding since its launch.

Read more: Ghanaian healthtech startup mPharma wins $1.5m at 2019 Skoll Awards
Read moreGhanaian healthtech company mPharma secures over $9m in Series-B funding

Editor’s note (27 May 2020): We updated this story to include tweets by Gregory Rockson in which he commented on the investment round. 

Featured image: The CEO and co-founder of mPharma, Gregory Rockson (Facebook)

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