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HealthPlus ePharmacy And First-Ever Digital Prescription Website Launched

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HealthPlus, Nigeria’s first integrative pharmacy has made history by launching West Africa’s first-ever ePharmacy and digital prescription Platform. Nigerians located anywhere in the country and indeed anywhere in the world can get a prescription from a certified pharmacist and have the medicines delivered promptly. 

This game changing application will facilitate the interaction between patients (customers) and health-service providers nationwide. It also marks a big step in the democratization of health in Nigeria and providing unprecedented healthcare access for Nigerians in all geographical locations.

The HealthPlus  ePharmacy is attributed to a rise in the number of internet consumers, increased access to web-based and online services, and the rising implementation of e-prescriptions in hospitals and other healthcare services.

With 108 million internet users in Nigeria and an estimated 120 million mobile phone holders, HealthPlus is now able to connect more Nigerians to qualified pharmacists and fast track the provision of efficient health care.

In a statement by the Chief Transformational Officer at the launch of this unique service, Mr. Chidi Okoro remarked: “Pharmacists are the first point of care for many Nigerians and are critical to ensure access to essential drugs. The HealthPlus ePharmacy platform is following the mission to enhance access to wholesome medicines and good pharmacy care services. Customers can now access professional pharmacists online from the comfort of their homes using mobile devices.”

Nigeria is also severely under served in the aspect of pharmacy stores locations. Only 25% of Nigeria’s local governments have any sort of pharmacy. That means, 70% of Nigeria’s local government areas have no access to a pharmacist.

Chidi Okoro pledged that “HealthPlus will help bridge this gap. Furthermore Nigeria has one of the lowest productivity rates in the world. This is due to absenteeism  and inadequate health care. If more Nigerians have access to health  and we take a more proactive approach, productivity will increase significantly.

“In keeping with its commitment to raise the standard of care, provide safe access to wholesome medications and reduce wait times, HealthPlus is utilizing the latest technology to consolidate the compendium of care and expand our vision to our customers’ mobile devices.”

Ernest Eguasa, CFO HealthPlus Limited added that “this is a very exciting offering that combines technology and the capabilities of fast-growing sector dynamics of Healthcare and eCommerce in synergy to deliver high-quality customer-centric customer patient care. It gives our customers a channel to conveniently get a wide array of their medical needs with the added benefit of One-on-One pharmaceutical consulting through our bespoke “Chat with a Pharmacist” functionality that ensures patients are getting exactly what they require for their optimum health.”

Afsane Jetha, Managing Partner & CEO Alta Semper and HealthPlus’s private equity partner stated that  “Healthcare in Africa is at an inflection point and has proven its ability to leapfrog traditional business models; it is becoming more consumer-focused and precision-driven. With this technology and platform, we are increasingly focused on preventative care and patients’ well-being, in providing access at their fingertips and the last mile.”

HealthPlus’s commitment to superior quality at reasonable cost maintains the Company’s vision to be West Africa’s most trusted healthcare retail brand, Zachary Fond, Managing Director at Alta Semper also remarked , “HealthPlus is at the forefront of being able to respond to this industry evolution, given the strength of the Company’s brand and its growing footprint nationally, we plan to dedicate further efforts to transformative initiatives aimed at integrating end-to-end healthcare services for our customers”.

The HealthPlus ePharmacy service is available on URL https://www.healthplusnigeria.com and for a limited period, our customers can access up to 10% discount on selected items.

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Angel Investors Plans to List Africa-Focused SPAC Targeting Tech Startup

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Angel Investors, Vishal Agarwal an investment banker, and Raj Kulasingam, a corporate lawyer have stated plans to list Africa-focused SPAC targeting only tech startups in the continent.

A report from Bloomberg said the two early-stage investors have been funding African startups since 2017, invested in over 50 startups, and so far made fivefold returns on their investment. They were also part of Acuity Ventures, an early-stage venture capital fund with stakes in Flutterwave Inc. and Paystack before the firms attained unicorn status.

Vishal and Raj saw the successful investment strategy of Swvl Inc. a Dubai-based ridesharing company merging with Queen’s Gambit Growth Capital, a blank-check company. The two investors believed that listing an African-focused SPAC will provide funds for startups needing capital to expand operations in the continent.

Vishal affirmed that investors have developed a keen interest in Africa, he said, “as there is more interest in Africa, we want to give founders a route to market. A SPAC gives acceleration to our founders and is overall a good thing for the ecosystem.”

The growing interest in African startups has been asserted by Briter Bridges in the 2021 African Investment Report, which released data showing that African startups secured $4.69 billion in estimated funding in 2021, where the tech companies dominated the space by gulping $2.9 billion or 62 percent of the total funding.

However, data from SPAC research revealed that less than 1 percent of the 600 New York-listed SPACs are African-focused.

The biggest investment success recorded by Vishal and raj was with Kuda Bank, the African challenger bank, where they invested $600,000 and exited with 14.5 fold gain or $8.7 million in 20 months. Kuda Bank, a unicorn startup is valued at $500 million and has so far raised $91.6 million in funding.

Vishal said, “when we do dealmaking, we are influenced not only by being able to get in at the right price, but being able to come out, We are very conscious about that, and it’s not always straightforward to come out.”

Dario Giuliani, director of Briter Bridges said, “2021 was a year of recognition, where the newly-available resources and the increasing number of international investors shifting mandates to include Africa met hundreds of promising entrepreneurs to support”.

Vishal and Raj just like every investor identified a growing economy in Africa and the increasing tech-savvy youth population, but also the lack of financial infrastructure. The duo plans to fill this gap by investing in about 20 African startups this year.

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Japan, NITDA to Launch Incubation Scheme for Nigerian Startups

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The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) working with Nigeria’s National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), is set to launch iHatch.

iHatch is a startup incubation scheme designed to expand the number of innovation-driven enterprises by Nigerian youths.

The scheme will include a 5-month free intensive incubation program where entrepreneurs’ business ideas are shaped and perfected, through a series of coaching, lectures, and boot camps, to generate viable and scalable business models.

The initiative launched through NITDA’s subsidiary, the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR) will focus on developing Nigerian youths’ innovation, entrepreneurial skills and technological know-how.

According to the Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations of NITDA, Mrs Hadiza Umar, iHatch’s incubation program will provide an opportunity “for startups that have innovative business ideas along with a prototype of their products or services”.

The participating startups, Umar said, will receive free offline and online interactive training from experienced coaches and mentors from over the world.

Other benefits would include free co-working space for the duration of the programme and investment opportunities.

In his remarks, the Director-General of NITDA, Malam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi said, “iHatch seeks to establish a programme that will accelerate the process of taking ideas to impact, hence providing the much-needed jobs for our teeming youths, and also nurturing that entrepreneurial spirit in them, which will catalyse the Nigerian digital economy to the next level.”

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African Tech Scene Rakes in $2.9 Billion, Nigerian Startups Dominate

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The technology space is growing to become a very necessary one, with the existence of the pandemic and with the rate at which the world is advancing. This is reflected in the revenue gathered, as tech startups in Africa alone made well over $2.9 billion in 2021.

Of the total income brought in by African tech startups, startups owned and managed by Nigerians brought in the most, with a whopping $1.7 billion (amounting to about 60%) of the total amount coming from Nigerian startups which are creating new products, services and platforms.

Africa is giving a very good account of itself in the tech scene, as a recent report by Maxime Bayen’s – a venture capitalist and business consultant – business database Africa report stated that Africa is currently home to seven different tech heavyweights, referred to as unicorns which boats of valuations surpassing $1 billion.

The United States of America has noticed the blossoming tech scene in Nigeria and is now starting to provide support for the fast-growing, lucrative sector. The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Berth Leonard at the 2021 Nigeria Tech Summit announced the intention of the US government to provide sufficient support for the tech scene in Nigeria.

The support to be provided from the United States will ensure that the country’s tech scene continues to grow and provide a favourable environment that will boost a sector which will kickstart more global businesses, create more job opportunities and ensure that the citizens live a more prosperous life.

Of the seven African tech “unicorns”, three are owned by Nigerians. These three are Opay, Flutterwave and Interswitch. Mary Berth Leonard lauded the fact that Nigeria owns three of Africa’s seven heavyweights, and went on to say that Nigeria has the potential to do a lot more in the tech scene but only with the proper support.

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