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Egyptian digital marketplace Pharmacy Marts raises 6-figure bridge round

The platform allows pharmacists to search online for the products missing in their inventory, all the way to choosing suppliers and ordering.
24.03.24 | Source: Disrupt Africa

Cairo-based digital marketplace Pharmacy Marts has raised a six-figure US dollar bridge round from early-stage venture capital firm Acasia Ventures to boost its growth and expansion plans.

Founded in January 2021 by Ahmed Kadous, Ahmed Mazhar, Haitham El Ghotni, and Mahmoud Shousha, Pharmacy Marts aims to digitise the pharmaceutical sector’s supply chain to improve patient access to medication. 

The startup’s platform allows pharmacists to search online for the products missing in their inventory, see which suppliers have them, obtain an estimate on which supplier could meet their financial and time-specific needs best, order the missing items, choose the preferred payment method, and receive their order within 24 hours. 

Additionally, it tackles the pain point of pharmacists being unable to secure suitable financing terms from wholesalers, by providing access to working capital and long-term financing, including “Buy Now, Pay Later” options. 

With the six-figure bridge round from Acasia Ventures, Pharmacy Marts has now raised a total US$2 million in funding to-date from local, regional and global VCs, and covers about 12,000 of Egypt’s pharmacies, equivalent to 20 per cent of the total market, with over 200 suppliers on its platform. It is now planning further growth and international expansion.

“The distribution of medication in Egypt is not reliable or smooth, but rather plagued with the inconsistent availability of products across pharmacies and geographical areas, leading to a shortage in medication,” CEO and co-founder Kadous said. “This ultimately impacts the patients who need the medication and makes the life of a pharmacist rather difficult. We are excited about having Acasia Ventures on board, given its great presence in African markets that we are planning to enter, as well as their solid network of advisors and experts in the pharmaceutical industry.”

Acasia Ventures managing partner Aly El Shalakany said Pharmacy Marts had, in a short period of time, emerged as a category leader in its space.

“We are confident it will continue to go from strength to strength. Pharmacy Marts’ solid team has a fantastic track record and is successfully delivering a compelling digital solution to alleviate a big pain point for thousands of pharmacies and indirectly, millions of patients,” he said.