Retail pharmacy Goodlife Pharmacies raises US$12m from Proparco to expand its network

EAST AFRICAGoodlife Pharmacies, healthcare and retail pharmacy chain, raised US$12 million in debt financing from Proparco, the French Development Finance Institution, to increase access to quality medicines and healthcare services in East Africa.

Goodlife is the largest private pharmacy chain in East Africa and has grown its pharmacy and health hub network to nearly 100 locations across Kenya and Uganda.

These outlets now reach 1.7 million people, providing access to over 18 million essential medicines and healthcare services. Goodlife Pharmacies’ continued growth provides employment to over 350 professionals, over 60% of whom are women.

Goodlife is widely recognized for its professional continuous development activities, promotion of career opportunities, and the continued strengthening of quality standards of practice across the country, through its links with the various regulatory bodies. 

Proparco’s financing will enable Goodlife to continue to flourish in Kenya and Uganda and to expand its network to 250 pharmacies by 2025, broadening its reach to over 8.5 million people, half of whom earn between US$2-10 per day.

Proparco’s support for Goodlife Pharmarcies is part of its ambition to support the strengthening of the pharmaceutical sector in Africa.

“Proparco’s investment in Goodlife supports a rapidly growing pharmacy and digital healthcare brand that is committed to delivering trusted healthcare products and services,” Jean-Benoît du Chalard, Regional Head, Proparco, East Africa said.

“The team at Goodlife have shown great discipline building effective healthcare solutions and we have great confidence in their ability to further scale their platform for the benefit of all.

“With the right financing, private healthcare businesses like Goodlife can create much-needed jobs and help drive both an economic and health-related recovery from COVID-19 in Africa.”

Over the last five years, and with funding and operational support from LeapFrog Investments, Goodlife’s majority shareholder, Goodlife has expanded its network over five times and has introduced several key innovations to drive its rapid transformation from a traditional brick-and-mortar pharmacy to an integrated, omnichannel health hub.

Its holistic services include basic laboratory diagnostics and telemedicine services through key partnerships, loyalty programs, and a comprehensive digital platform. 

Goodlife has also had immense social impact by increasing its reach to emerging consumers by over 100%, developing a digital e-commerce platform in the midst of the pandemic, and adding complementary healthcare services to its offering.

These efforts have greatly improved access to high-quality medicines and created a one-stop-shop for healthcare in the region.

“Proparco’s investment in Goodlife strengthens our ability to continue to change lives by getting quality and affordable medication to African consumers, including low-income people who historically have not had access to essential medicines,” Amaan Khalfan, CEO, Goodlife said.

“At its core, Goodlife is addressing the accessibility gap to high-quality, affordable healthcare products and services across East Africa.

“Through this approach, Goodlife continues to have a direct impact on the quality of life and wellness of East Africa’s growing population and is revolutionizing how healthcare is delivered in the region.”

Through its partnership with Goodlife, Proparco will help contribute to the continued emergence of a leader in the African consumer healthcare space.

Proparco’s financing package will support Goodlife’s continued growth and expansion across the region, strengthen its supply chain, and further drive the Company’s rapid transformation into an integrated digital healthcare platform.

“With its world class leadership and operations, Goodlife has improved healthcare at scale in the region.  Goodlife has grown in the past four years from a small pharmacy chain into East Africa’s largest pharmacy group – a development lauded by FORTUNE magazine as a lightning-fast business success story,” Biju Mohandas, Partner and Co-Head of Global Healthcare Investments, LeapFrog:

“Goodlife has established a new role for pharmacies as health hubs that, frankly, provides a model not just for the developing world but for global approaches to healthcare. Proparco’s investment will help ensure that Goodlife realizes its ever-ambitious growth plans.”

The funding will also support the launch of a new format and brand offering to support lower income populations with their healthcare needs and increase access to trusted and affordable pharmaceutical products.

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