Field Intelligence, a Nigeria-based healthtech startup digitising the pharmaceutical supply chain in Africa, is expanding into 11 cities across Nigeria and Kenya; Rivers, Edo, Kaduna, Kano, Enugu, Delta and Kwara States in Nigeria, and Eldoret, Mombasa, Kisumu and Naivasha in Kenya. 

This expansion is coming after it raised 3.8 million last year in March to scale its Shelf Life product, a subscription-based pay-as-you-sell platform. The platform was launched in 2017 to solve the inventory problem facing Africa’s $75B retail pharmacy market. Their pitch was simple: help pharmacies, of any size, access thousands of products and cutting-edge inventory planning, then enable them to  pay as they sell the products.

This model takes away some of the risks associated with storage activities such as procurement and inventory management; it also eliminates frequent over and understocking, which can result in the expiration of stock. 

“Shelf Life’s rapid uptake across such a range of African markets is a testament to its potential as a solution for pharmacies across the continent.” said Michael Moreland, Co-founder and CEO of Field Intelligence.

Since their last funding round, the platform has experienced rapid growth in sales and membership subscription. In Nigeria, subscription has increased by 47% and 65% in Kenya, selling over 586,950 products in 63 different product categories. 

“Rural and urban, East and West, we have found Shelf Life helping pharmacies overcome a shared set of challenges and seize new opportunities for growth by improving access for their patients,” Michael added. 

To meet the large demand for prescription and over-the-counter drugs despite recent critical global shortages, Field intelligence uses data to optimise predictions and identify irregularities in the market. 

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“The ability of our technology to digitize, automate, and optimize planning, assortment, and fulfilment, led by an incredible team, is quickly making Shelf Life one of the largest retail pharmacy supply chains in Africa.” Michael said.

Field intelligence said the expansion will build on their existing 700+ pharmacy membership, which has served over 1.4 million patients to accelerate quality frontline healthcare across Africa. 

But what are the future projections for the six-year-old startup?

According to Statistica, digital health revenue in Nigeria is set to reach over US$1.3bn by 2025, with a 22.31% annual growth rate. Similarly, the Kenya market is also projected to have a 19.97% annual growth rate, resulting in a market volume of US$649.73m by 2025. This number shows a huge opportunity for Field intelligence to tap in. 

Also, there are 4,500 registered pharmacies and over 15,000 drugstores in Nigeria whilst Kenya has 6,000 registered pharmacies and chemists. Field Intelligence aims to dig into these numbers and onboard more users to surpass the 2,000 pharmacies currently using Shelf Life. 

By 2025, the startup wants to have 12,000 pharmacies in its network, that’s 4x of Chinese pharmacy chain GouDam – making it the largest globally. 

With more strategic expansion into more African cities and countries, Field intelligence may be right on its way to becoming what it plans to become – the largest digital pharmaceutical solution in the world.

Damilare Dosunmu | Author

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