SA startup PharmaScout raises Series A funding from Knife Capital


South African pharmaceutical temperature monitoring solution PharmaScout has secured Series A funding from Knife Capital to accelerate the rollout of its product and develop new ones for the international market.

PharmaScout, a single point solution developed by Cape Town-based Internet of Things (IoT) startup 5nines Technologies, helps healthcare professionals mitigate legal risk and meet safety and quality standards of stored temperature sensitive pharmaceutical products.

It has been angel-funded to date, but has now received an undisclosed Series A funding round from Knife Capital, a venture capital firm with offices in Cape Town and London. Knife Capital invests via a consortium of funding partnerships, including SARS section 12J Venture Capital Company KNF Ventures and select family offices.

The funding will be applied to accelerate product rollout to pharmacies, medical practitioners and pharmaceutical warehouses and enhance new product development for the international market.

PharmaScout has already gained significant traction with blue chip customers such as Clicks and Alpha Pharm, while conducting pilots with local hospital groups. It has also commenced R&D activities to provide cold chain management products applicable to the retail, restaurant and hospitality industries.

“There are few pharmaceutical quality and safety issues more important than those relating to the storage and handling of temperature sensitive products. PharmaScout and its related product suite deliver the most convenient and cost-effective way of meeting the professional responsibility and legal burden of temperature monitoring compliance in South Africa,” said Doug Siepman, chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of 5nines.

“We are delighted to partner with Knife Capital at this stage of our growth journey. The team brings a wealth of experience and market access networks to the business that we are already starting to tap.”

Keet van Zyl, investment partner at Knife, said PharmaScout was an exciting investment opportunity.

“It contains all the elements that we look for in a portfolio company. There is a compelling investment case underpinned by recurring revenue, great people with execution abilities resulting in proven traction and intellectual property elements that make the technology scalable,” he said.

“Macro factors in the industry such as increased legislation and auditable but affordable medical compliance standards also play in PharmaScout’s favour.”


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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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