Lifestores Healthcare, a Nigerian health-tech startup, has raised $3 million in its pre-series A funding round. The round had leading participations from Health54, which is the healthcare-focused corporate venture capital arm of CFAO Group. Aruwa Capital Management also participated as a supporting lead. Further participations came from new and existing investors like Lionbear Conduit Capital.
With the funding, Lifestores Healthcare plans to extend its offerings to more customers by expanding across Nigeria. It also plans to provide AI-driven predictive ordering tools, expand its sales and engineering teams, as well as its senior management.
Lifestores Healthcare began operations in 2017 as a chain of pharmaceutical stores, before switching lanes to the B2B industry, where it provide services to pharmacies and patients. The startup has two products: OGApharmacy – which is a B2B marketplace that allow health establishments get the best prices for high-quality products; and ERP system that pharmacies and dispensaries can use to run their operations.
Lifestores Healthcare was founded by Bryan Mezue and Andrew Garza. Both co-founders have had previous experiences working on pharmaceutical-related sales and supply chain projects. The startup, which has about 750 outlets around the country, said it has been experiencing a 25% marketplace growth, while holding 10% market share. It also plans to increase its market share up to 25%.
“Our scope goes beyond merely distributing medicines and stabilizing prices. Essentially, pharma wholesalers are the ‘banks’ of the healthcare supply chain in Nigeria, and their impact on the overall economy is considerable. By optimizing how we extend credit to our healthcare provider partners and modernizing patient access to health financing, we are able to power the growth of our partners and increase patient access to quality care,” COO, Andrew Garza, said.
Speaking on the fundraise and partnership with Health54, Bryan Mezue, Co-founder & CEO of Lifestores Healthcare, said:
“We are thrilled to have Health54 join our mission of democratizing access to quality and affordable primary healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa, together with existing investors, such as Aruwa Capital and the Lionbear consortium. The vast majority of Africans will visit their local pharmacy for treatment. We aim to support pharmacists, the unsung heroes of African healthcare, with the critical services they need to procure and provide safe and affordable medications to their patients.”
Commenting on the fundraise, Adesuwa Okunbo Rhodes, Founding Partner and CEO, Aruwa Capital Management, said:
“Following an initial investment 18 months ago, we have been impressed with Lifestores’ stellar growth rate and are proud to continue to support this hardworking team, providing market-relevant solutions. In line with Aruwa’s gender lens strategy, approximately 50% of the pharmacies on OGApharmacy, are owned or led by women. We look forward to Lifestores’ continued success and are excited about the new strategic partnership.”
Also commenting, Côme Vercken, Managing Director, Health54, said:
“We’re proud and happy to make our first investment with Health54 in Nigeria and in Lifestores. We were impressed with Bryan and Andrew’s on-the-ground experience of having run multiple retail pharmacies in Nigeria. In two years, they have built a first-rate distribution platform with OGAPharmacy. As a strategic partner, we’re delighted to work together and bring the benefits of our vertically integrated pharmaceutical supply chain so we can support more patients in Nigeria and beyond with quality primary healthcare.”