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    Monday, August 16, 2021

    Nigeria Anti-Counterfeiting Firm, Chekkit Closes USD500k Pre-seed Round

    Counterfeit products have become a global pandemic that has adversely affected businesses and the global economy. There has been a huge increase in poor quality and counterfeit goods in African markets ranging from pharmaceuticals to FMCG, leading to risk in consumer health.

    In 2020, the World Health Organisation reported that 70% of all drugs present in Nigeria were second-generation goods. Such imitations are usually falsified products, labels and packaging designed to look like those of genuine products. The aim is to confuse or deceive consumers as to their quality, source, origin, or legitimacy.

    Nigeria anti-counterfeiting software company, Chekkit, said it has closed a $500,000 pre-seed funding round for its operations, which primarily entail building technology that aids in protecting consumers from patronising fake products by using mobile phones for verification.

    This was disclosed by Tosin Adelowo, Chekkit co-founder, in a statement.

    Founded in 2018 by Dare Odumade, Chekkit is incorporated in Nigeria and the USA with particular focus on manufacturers of consumer goods as well as those of pharmaceutical products.

    According to the company, Launch Africa, Japan Strategic capital, Blockchain Founders Fund, and two syndicate groups of angel investors are joining the investment round.

    “Completing the funding is a grant from the Orange Corners program,” the statement said.

    The document further stated 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 over the past few years.

    “We deployed a Covid-19 engagement solution in partnership with the African Union and the AfricaCDC, and we are constantly working with regulatory and standardisation bodies like NAFDAC, GS1, and the FCCPC to ensure that the products we use are safe and of the best standards for consumption,” Mr Adelowo said.

    The funds raised are to be utilised in consolidating anti-counterfeiting and consumer engagement solutions as well as developing formidable supply chain tracking and infrastructural optimisation technologies.

    They will also enable the firm to provide direct protection for up to 100 million lives globally, Adelowo said, adding that the dream would be achieved via the expansion of the company’s team of innovators.

    According to CEO and co-founder Dare Odumade, “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. Fake and substandard drugs are responsible for thousands of deaths annually across Africa.”

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