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    Axmed Secures $2 Million Seed Funding to Bridge Access Gap for Essential Medicines in Africa

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    Axmed, a B2B marketplace startup focused on improving access to essential medicines in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), has secured $2 million in seed funding. This investment, led by Founderful Ventures, fuels Axmed’s efforts to bridge the gap between pharmaceutical manufacturers and healthcare institutions in underserved regions.

    The lack of access to quality and affordable medicines is a critical issue in LMICs, impacting millions of people. Fragmented supply chains, high costs, and the prevalence of counterfeit drugs all contribute to this disparity. Axmed’s platform aims to address these challenges by creating a more streamlined and transparent system.

    Direct Connection, Lower Costs

    Axmed’s marketplace connects manufacturers directly with healthcare providers, such as hospitals and clinics, in LMICs. This approach bypasses traditional multi-layered supply chains, potentially leading to lower costs for essential medications. By aggregating demand from healthcare institutions, Axmed strengthens their buying power, allowing them to negotiate more favorable terms with manufacturers.

    To ensure the platform’s integrity and combat the circulation of counterfeit drugs, Axmed plans to implement stringent regulatory and legal requirements for both buyers and sellers. This commitment to transparency is vital for safeguarding public health in LMICs.

    Expansion Plans and Strategic Partnerships

    The seed funding will support Axmed’s initial launch, targeting LMICs like Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Rwanda. The company plans to forge partnerships with faith-based organizations, NGOs, government healthcare providers, and procurement agencies to establish a strong presence in these regions.

    This seed funding follows a $5 million grant Axmed received from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This earlier support underscores the potential of Axmed’s platform to improve access to maternal and child healthcare in priority countries.

    Mutual Benefit for Buyers and Manufacturers

    Axmed’s CEO and co-founder, Emmanuel Akpakwu, highlights the platform’s value proposition for both sides of the marketplace. By aggregating demand, Axmed empowers healthcare institutions in LMICs, while simultaneously creating a more attractive market opportunity for legitimate pharmaceutical manufacturers.

    The platform also aims to address the information gap for manufacturers. Akpakwu emphasizes the need for manufacturers to gain better visibility into the real size and potential of LMIC markets, allowing them to make informed decisions about market entry.

    Axmed joins a growing wave of digital solutions tackling pharmaceutical supply chain challenges in LMICs. Other players in this space include platforms like Africa Medicines Supply Platform and Xs2Meds, along with healthtech companies like Drugstoc and Remedial Health.

    Axmed’s success will depend on its ability to navigate complex regulatory environments, forge strong partnerships within LMICs, and ultimately connect healthcare institutions with the essential medicines their communities need. The company’s launch is expected later this year, with the seed funding providing a critical springboard for its mission.

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