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Local start-up raises $250,000 in seed funding

Local start-up raises $250,000 in seed funding

LAHORE: Sarmayacar, a syndicate of foreign investors working to promote Pakistani start-ups, has announced $250,000 seed funding for ProCheck, a serialisation and patient engagement service provider.

ProCheck’s round of funding, led by Sarmayacar and also joined by Pakathon/Elastica, will be used to expand its sales and engineering team to capitalise on the surge of interest from the pharmaceutical industry in particular. It will also enable the start-up to establish a sales and service presence in manufacturing hubs outside Karachi, where it is headquartered.

Founded in 2014, ProCheck works with manufacturers to help protect their products from being counterfeited through serialisation, which involves printing unique codes on each pack to help patients and regulators alike to confirm the genuineness of drugs.

The verification can be used as a consumer engagement channel, and help differentiate a manufacturer’s brand.

“By offering the full stack of track and trace capabilities, SMS and app-based verification services, coupled with a strong focus on analytics and patient engagement, ProCheck has established itself as the provider of choice for the pharmaceutical industry,” said Rabeel Warraich, founder of Sarmayacar.

“ProCheck’s product partnerships mean they can provide a highly scalable, proven, suite of services to help manufacturers comply with government mandates for Punjab tenders and DRAP [Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan],” he added.

Saim Siddiqui, founder and CEO of ProCheck, said: “We’re focused on our mission of enabling patient access to authentic and affordable drugs, by protecting the supply chain and empowering the purchaser.”

Sarmayacar is a sector-agnostic funding syndicate focused on angel and seed stage investments in Pakistan. It includes Pakistan-based and international investors who pool together to provide funding and expertise to promising start-ups.

There has been a push in the last few years to protect patients from counterfeit medicines. Regulatory bodies across the globe have mandated manufacturers to adopt systems using serialisation.

It is expected that three quarters of the world’s pharmaceutical supply chain will be covered under various regulatory mandates by 2019. The United States, European Union, China, India, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Turkey have already introduced serialisation/track and trace mandates.

In Pakistan, both the Punjab government and DRAP have finalised drafts to make serialisation mandatory for pharmaceutical products over the coming years. Manufacturers are gearing up for a July 1 deadline by the Punjab government to serialise all products procured via tender.

Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2017

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