Nigerian Healthtech startup Field Intelligence expands operations in Kenya

KENYA – Field Intelligence, a healthtech company focused on digitizing public health supply chain to help pharmacies sell better, has set up in Kenya’s towns; Mombasa, Eldoret, Kisumu and Naivasha, as it strives to expand operations.

The expansion will build on Field Intelligence’s more than 700 existing pharmacies, which have served over 1.4 million patients so far.

The company has also expanded its operations into Nigeria’s Rivers, Edo, Kaduna, Kano, Enugu, Delta and Kwara States.

Statistics provided by Field Intelligence suggest that Nigeria has more than 4,500 registered pharmacies and over 15,000 drugstores; while Kenya has 6,000 registered pharmacies.

The company, which started in 2015, shifted from strictly being a software company to become a pharmaceutical distributor using technology to reimagine how the value chain works.

After building a SaaS platform to manage complex and large-scale pharmaceutical distribution for the government, the company decided to branch out into the private space.

Consequently, Field Intelligence launched Shelf Life in 2017 as the standalone product to handle this transition. Up until now, they had operations in Abuja, Lagos and Nairobi.

The shelf life product aims to solve the inventory problem across Africa’s US$65 billion pharmaceutical market. This product enables independent and franchise pharmacies to access 1000 unique products.

Shelf Life takes the burden and risk of inventory off the pharmacies. It manages forecasting, quality assurance, fulfillment and inventory management via a subscription service.

This expansion comes a year after the company experienced rapid sales and Shelf Life membership subscriptions.

Shelf Life membership has grown by 65% in Kenya, with pharmacies in Kenya and Nigeria selling more than 586,950 products in 63 different product categories across the Shelf Life platform.

Some of the products available on the platform include contraceptives, anti-malaria drugs, and supplements, cold and cough medicines, and PPEs.

Pharmacies sell Shelf Life-supplied goods on consignment through a pay-as-you-sell program, avoiding expiry risk and accessing a cheaper alternative to working capital finance. The company claims that this model allowed pharmacies to grow an average of 25% CAGR.

Field Intelligence concluded its first round of outside capital in March last year, a US$3.6 million Series A. The money was raised for expansion, but the pandemic stalled that plan. Field Intelligence went back to work by the end of Q4 2020 and planted the initial seeds of what has grown until this moment.

By next year, Field Intelligence plans to surpass 2,000 Shelf Life pharmacies and drugstores. By 2025, the company is targeting 12,000 pharmacies and drugstores.

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