EGYPT—Acasia Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm, has invested in a six-figure bridge round in digital marketplace Pharmacy Marts.

Pharmacy Marts has raised US$2 million in investments from local, regional, and global VCs.

Pharmacy Marts aims to digitize the pharmaceutical sector’s supply chain to improve patient access to medication.

Founded in January 2021, Pharmacy Marts allows pharmacists to search online for the products missing from their inventory, see which suppliers have them, obtain an estimate on which supplier best meets their financial and time-specific needs, order the missing items, choose the preferred payment method, and receive their order within 24 hours. 

Additionally, it tackles the pain point of pharmacists’ inability to secure suitable financing terms from wholesalers by providing access to working capital and long-term financing, including ‘buy now, pay later’ options.

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,” Ahmed Kadous, CEO and co-founder of Pharmacy Marts, states. 

“This ultimately impacts the patients who need the medication and makes the life of a pharmacist rather tricky. 

“We are excited about having Acasia Ventures on board, given its great presence in African markets that we plan to enter, as well as its solid network of advisors and experts in the pharmaceutical industry.”

Today, pharmacists dedicate 30% 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 enormous caveat is that the connection between all these stakeholders is still very primitive and relies heavily on manual processes and phone calls.

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

“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,” the managing partner at Acasia Ventures Aly El Shalakany explains. 

“In a short period, Pharmacy Marts has emerged as a category leader in this space, and we are confident it will continue to grow from strength to strength.”

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