Dealflow | April 26, 2022

BluePeak backs Africure to bolster pharmaceutical production in Africa

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, April 26 – The challenges of affordability and authenticity have hampered access to life-saving medicines and vaccines in Africa. Case in point: only 15% of Africans are vaccinated against COVID-19, versus nearly 60% worldwide.

Africure makes and distributes affordable medicines throughout the African continent. BluePeak Private Capital backed the company from its fund for African small and mid-sized businesses.

“Strengthening health systems plays a critical role in Africa’s recovery from the pandemic,” said BluePeak’s Fulton Shiundu.

The size of the investment was not disclosed.

Affordable medicines

Africa imports 80% of its pharmaceuticals. Africure produces more than 300 registered drug products for infectious diseases like malaria, as well as chronic conditions like diabetes. The company was formed in 2017 as a buyout from Indian pharmaceutical manufacturer Strides Shasun.

Other companies addressing Africa’s pharmaceutical challenges include logistics companies LifeBank and Zipline; sourcing and stocking ventures mPharma and Field Intelligence; verification startups DrugStoc, RxAll and Chekkit; and research and discovery companies 54gene and Yemaachi Biotech.

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Africure is BluePeak’s third investment, after real estate platform Grit and infrastructure developer Ieng.

Its fund was set up to provide debt, equity, mezzanine and convertible notes for African businesses, with checks of $10 million to $25 million. BluePeak has raised $115 million towards its $200 million goal, mostly from development finance institutions, including the European Investment Bank, the Development Finance Corp. and the U.K.’s British International Investment (formerly CDC Group).