CDC Group announces co-investment in mPharma under Venture Scale-Up Programme

01 Jun 2020

  • Thdeal is one of the first investments under CDC’s Venture Scale-up Programme 
  • mPharma aims to dramatically reduce the cost of essential medicines in Africamaking quality healthcare affordable and accessible to all consumers in Africa 
  • To combat COVID-19, mPharma has provided 700,000 testing kits and 120 PCR medical equipment to medical laboratories in eight African countries 

CDC Group, the UK’s publicly owned impact investor, has closed a co-investment in mPharma, a tech-enabled healthcare company driving supply chain efficiencies for pharmaceutical products across Africa. CDC has made the investment in mPharma alongside Novastar Ventures, a CDC-backed venture capital fund manager, which led the company’s Series C funding round.  

mPharma partners with community pharmaciesusing technology and data to aggregate demands and create efficient supply chainwithin the vast and fragmented pharmaceutical market in AfricaThis approach allows the company to distribute quality pharmaceutical products at a significantly lower cost than competitors and provided affordable and accessible healthcare to end consumers across the continent. mPharma currently operates in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and serves approximately one million patients annually, through a network of over 400 pharmacies. 

In the fight against the Coronavirus pandemicmPharma is developing a private sector strategy to increase the availability of testing in Ghana. During the crisis, the company has partnered with medical laboratories in Ghana, Nigeria and Zambiaand converted the labs into testing centres that rapidly increase the number of available tests. So far, mPharma has procured and distributed 700,000 testing kits and 120 PCR medical equipment to medical labs in eight African countries. Read more on mPharma’s COVID-19 response here. 

The Venture Scale-up programme aims to invest in early-stage companies that leverage technology and innovative business models to achieve transformational impact at scale. CDC’s investment in mPharma through the programme will enable the company to expand its retail network by an additional 500 pharmacies, reduce the risk of counterfeit medication, and decrease cost of essential medicines to end consumers over the next several years. 

Stephen Priestley, Managing Director, Funds and Capital Partnerships, at CDC, said:

“I am delighted to announce our co-investment in mPharmaalongside Novastar Ventures, a key partner for CDC, to support the company in developing a more efficient supply chain for pharmaceutical products across Africa.”

Gregory RocksonCo-founder and CEO of mPharmasaid: “We look forward to working with CDC Group due to its deep roots in Africa, extensive government contacts and expertise in environmental, social and governance practices.” 

CDC’s commitment will contribute to UN’s Sustainable Development Goal on Good Health and Well-Being  (SDG#3). 

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