Nigeria’s anti-counterfeiting tech startup, Chekkit, recently announced that it has closed a pre-seed funding round of over $500,000 to bolster its operations in the country. The startup basically provides technology that helps customers to protect themselves from making use of fake products. Users can easily verify products via their mobile phones. Asides from anti-counterfeiting, the startup also offers services in asset tracking and consumer feedback analytics tool. The platform helps to provide tamper-proof unique ID labels for products, whether as QR or numeric codes, that are used by customers to tag packaged food and beverage products for tracking.
Founded in 2018 by Dare Odumade and Jida Asare, Chekkit was created at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) in Accra, Ghana. The motivation to create this solution came from the prevalence of people who die from counterfeit medication. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 100,000 deaths per year in Africa are due to the counterfeit drug trade. With the help of these funds, the startup is looking at strengthening its consumer intelligence and supply chain tracking infrastructure. The goal is to ensure that this helps in the protection of lives, by offering individuals the opportunities to flagging counterfeit products. Through partnerships with NAFDAC, GS1, and the FCCPC these products are authenticated for the safest and best standards for consumption.
With these partners on board, Chekkit is working actively to strengthen pharmacovigilance across African countries, and reduce the prevalence of fake and substandard drugs. These objectives are laudable as they are helping to enhance general healthcare across Africa, and reduce deaths through consumption of fake drugs. As such, many investors are keen on the impact that the startup can and will make across Africa.
Dare Odumade, Co-founder of the tracking and monitoring health tech startup, is quoted as saying, in regards to this success,
The funding round was led by Launch Africa, Japan Strategic Capital, Blockchain Founders Fund, and two syndicate groups of angel investors, with a grant from the Orange Corners program.
Biola Alabi, co-head of one of the angel syndicate groups, says about the startup and the impact it is making in Africa:
With these funds, the startup is positioning itself in the market for growth and even greater impact. It is hoped that through this funding and exposure, more and more individuals would take the precautions, via the platform, of authenticating drugs and products before consumption.