NIGERIA – Chekkit Technologies, a Lagos-based drug anti-counterfeit startup, has announced the close of their first institutional investment, a US$500,000 pre-seed round that included Launch Africa, Japan Strategic Capital, Blockchain Founders Fund, and two syndicate groups of angel investors.
The round was completed with a grant from the Orange Corners initiative.
The cash will be used for product development, as well as expanding their existing anti-counterfeiting and consumer interaction solutions and developing comprehensive supply chain tracking and infrastructure optimization technologies.
“The funds raised will enable us to directly protect up to 100 million lives across the globe,” the firm added in a statement. “To achieve this, we’ll be growing our team of innovators with like-minded and innovative individuals to join us on this noble journey.”
Founded in 2018, Chekkit Technologies is a Nigeria-based software company providing product authentication and distribution tracking solutions to FMCGs and Pharmaceuticals. Their solution helps to prevent consumers from buying or using counterfeit products.
“We are super-pumped about the future as we develop unique technological products to protect the lives of millions and also directly improve the act of doing business for several brands by learning about consumers in the largely informal African markets,” Dare Odumade, CEO of Chekkit.
“We will be launching the first consumer intelligence software-as-a-service for consumer brands to create end-to-end loyalty campaigns, aggregate engagement data and distribute rewards in-house and with their marketing agencies for the first time ever, enabling consumers to directly interact with brands through QR and USSD shortcodes printed directly on the product package.”
“We are super-pumped about the future as we develop unique technological products to protect the lives of millions.”Dare Odumade – CEO, Chekkit
Counterfeit products are “often very similar, or even fairly identical to the originals, with almost certainly lower quality but much cheaper, which makes them very understandably more attractive for consumers that have no means to purchase the real deal – the first-generation goods”.
As expected in the poverty capital of the world, Nigeria, there is an alarming rate of counterfeit products, especially pharmaceuticals.
“Investing in Chekkit Technologies was a no brainer, they are tackling the scourge of fake drugs in Nigeria and across emerging markets globally, one of the biggest challenges still facing the pharmaceutical and healthcare systems in Africa is fake and substandard drugs, weak regulatory environments and lack of consumer education,” Biola Alabi (co-leader of one of the angel syndicates groups) said.
Over the past few years, Chekkit has helped protect consumers and producers in both Nigeria and Afghanistan from the dangers of counterfeit products by providing the consumers with a means to identify original products.
In doing that, they have secured over 7 million pharmaceutical products, protected over 200,000 consumers, and expanded their partnership with the Afghan government for the verification and tracking of over 200 million products in the Middle Eastern country.
They achieved all this working with pharmaceutical companies like Merck, Royal Star Pharma, and Nabros Pharmaceutical.
They have also worked with consumer goods brands like Indomie, Nivea, and Flourmills of Nigeria Plc helping them get closer to their consumers by using Chekkit’s point-of-sale consumer engagement solution.
According to Chekkit, these brands have been able to optimize their promotions, loyalty programs, and also collect valuable insights directly from their consumers using smart intuitive surveys.
In terms of working with the government and non-profit organisations, they deployed a COVID-19 engagement solution in partnership with the African Union and the AfricaCDC, and are constantly working with regulatory and standardisation bodies like NAFDAC, GS1, and the FCCPC to ensure that the products used are safe and of the best standards for consumption.