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Egypt’s Pharmacy Marts secures bridge round from Acasia Ventures

Pharmacy Marts claims to have covered 20 per cent of Egypt’s total market, and boasts over 200 suppliers on its platform.
20.03.24 | Source: Wamda

Early-stage venture capital firm Acasia Ventures has invested a six-figure bridge round in Cairo-based digital marketplace Pharmacy Marts. 

Pharmacy Marts aims to digitise the pharmaceutical sector’s supply chain to improve patient access to medication. Today, pharmacists dedicate an average of 30 per cent of their time to manual stock monitoring and verifying product availability and prices. This results in delayed delivery of medication, further amplified by the fragmentation of the sector, as Egypt currently hosts 60,000 pharmacies offering over 7,000 products from 3,000 suppliers. The bigger caveat is that the connection between all these stakeholders is still very primitive and relies heavily on manual processes and phone calls, that is where Pharmacy Marts steps in. 

Founded in January 2021, it 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. 

Today, Pharmacy Marts covers about 12,000 of Egypt’s pharmacies, equivalent to 20 per cent of the total market, and boasts over 200 suppliers on its platform. 

“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 of Pharmacy Marts Ahmed Kadous states. “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.”

Kadous is joined by three co-founders: Ahmed Mazhar, Haitham El Ghotni, and Mahmoud Shousha. Mazhar serves as the Chief Strategy Officer, and has previously held the role of Senior Manager for Business Development Strategy at Vodafone’s Vodafone Cash division. El Ghotni, the Chief Business Officer, has extensive background in the commercial sector, having served in marketing and sales roles at Vodafone Cash, MNT-Halan, and Capiter. Shousha, Head of Sales, gained expertise in the implementation of efficient sales processes as an Executive Medical Representative at Novartis before co-founding Pharmacy Marts. “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,'' Managing Partner at Acasia Ventures Aly El Shalakany explains. “In a short period of time, Pharmacy Marts has emerged as a category leader in this space and we are confident it will continue to go from strength to strength.”