Lifestores Healthcare Gets $3m to Offer More Services
By Adedapo Adesanya
To deepen healthcare offerings in the country, Lifestores Healthcare has closed a $3 million pre-series A funding round.
The oversubscribed round was led by Health54, the healthcare-focused corporate venture capital arm of CFAO Group, with Aruwa Capital Management as a supporting lead, along with participation from other existing investors.
Founded in 2017 by Mr Bryan Mezue, Mr Ken Ahaotu (a pharmacist), and Mr Andrew Garza, Lifestores Healthcare, a Nigerian healthtech company, originated as a chain of retail pharmacies before launching its OGApharmacy service in 2020.
With this investment, Lifestores will expand across Nigeria, improve its software capabilities, and reach new customer segments. It plans to do this by expanding its sales and engineering teams, as well as its senior management.
Lifestores operates an online Business-to-Business (B2B) pharmaceutical marketplace, OGApharmacy, which provides pharmacies with 10-20 per cent group discounts, cutting-edge supply chain software, and the confidence that medications are authentic and not dangerous counterfeits.
Experiencing a 25 per cent monthly marketplace growth to date, OGApharmacy says it counts more than 10 per cent of Nigeria’s pharmacies as registered customers.
Mr Andrew Garza, the company’s co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, said, “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.”
Lifestores also aims to increase the number of OGApharmacy customers from 10 per cent to 25 per cent of Nigeria’s total market share, increasing the number of patients reached by 4x from 100,000 to 400,000 by 2023.
To drive growth, Lifestores will open a new Lagos processing centre and launch new technology features as part of its B2B offerings, including pharmacy management software, AI-driven predictive ordering, advanced credit offerings, and patient management initiatives.
Additionally, the startup will leverage CFAO Healthcare’s existing wholesale distribution capabilities in Nigeria and across Africa as well as Health54’s increasing network of health services innovators and providers.
It will also expand its Business-to-Customers (B2C) services with pilots in patient savings, care management, and medication delivery.
“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,” said Mr Bryan Mezue, Co-founder & CEO of Lifestores Healthcare.
“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,” he 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,” according to Mr Côme Vercken, Managing Director, Health54.