Charac, a digital pharmacy app based in London, has secured £1.2 million ($1.5m) in a funding round involving the National Pharmacy Association and pharmacy owners. While discussions with venture capital firms are still ongoing, the majority of the funding is debt-financed.
Charac’s platform offers automated repeat prescriptions, consultation booking, delivery through the Royal Mail, and marketing assistance. The startup aims to address the issue of pharmacy closures in the UK, which are occurring at a rate of nearly two per week.
The company plans to support pharmacies in fulfilling their expanded role under the government’s Pharmacy First initiative, which allows patients with certain common illnesses to receive advice and treatment directly from their local pharmacy instead of a GP.
Santosh Sahu, CEO and founder of Charac, stated that while the government’s plans are beneficial in the long term, many pharmacies are currently focused on survival and may struggle to take on the additional responsibilities. The Royal Mail has previously invested £1 million in Charac, which is used by over 400 pharmacies.
Sahu also highlighted the potential for growth in the health tech sector, with seven of the UK’s 47 unicorn companies operating in this space. He called for government support to foster the growth of health tech, similar to the support provided to the fintech sector.
Charac’s funding will enable the company to continue addressing the challenges faced by pharmacies in the evolving healthcare landscape.