Today blockchain startup Chronicled announced it received $8.3 million in funding from True Global Ventures 4 Plus. The company developed the MediLedger Network, which helps automate processes in the pharmaceutical supply chain and beyond. Its members include the major U.S. wholesalers and top manufacturers including Genentech, Pfizer, Bayer, Gilead and Amgen.
The latest funding is part of a larger $16 million raised since 2019 when the company concluded its Series A funding, which was also $16 million. The Series B round is expected to close later this year.
Chronicled is relatively unusual in the blockchain sector in that the company’s CEO is female. The MediLedger Network was co-founded by Susanne Somerville, who was previously VP of Supply Chain at Genentech/Roche, where she worked with Eric Garvin, her co-founder. Initially, Chronicled was the MediLedger technology partner, but after two years, Sommerville and Garvin joined Chronicled’s executive team. And after a bit more time, Somerville became CEO of Chronicled.
“We are very impressed with the entire team of Chronicled who we have followed since 2018. It’s also the first time we are finally backing a female entrepreneur and what an entrepreneur!” said TGV4 Plus Partner, Dusan Stojanovic. The venture firm has invested in Animoca Brands, the big blockchain gaming firm.
He continued, “We have invested substantially in Web3 in the gaming and entertainment sector where interoperability is and will be key. We see some of these trends being as important if not more important in the pharma Web3 industry.”
Originally the MediLedger Network was based on a permissioned version of Ethereum. Earlier this year, MediLedger announced a relationship with Parity, the developer behind the Polkadot network, which was designed for interoperability.
The evolution of MediLedger
MediLedger started out by focusing on pharmaceutical returns. When pharmacies return unsold drugs to wholesalers, there’s a real risk that the returned drugs could be counterfeits. That’s a big problem, given that wholesalers often re-sell the unopened drugs. As a result, the United States Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) required the pharma industry to address the issue, and MediLedger came up with a solution to enable package level tracing.
A key to its success was attracting the big three U.S. pharma wholesalers, AmerisourceBergen, McKesson and Cardinal Health, which account for 94% of U.S. sales.
Not resting on its laurels, MediLedger turned its focus to addressing problems with contracts. Healthcare providers such as hospitals and nursing homes tend to band together in Group Purchasing Organizations (GPO) to get better purchasing deals. The only problem is both the membership of these GPOs and the contract terms with the manufacturers tend to change. Also, there’s a wholesaler sitting between the manufacturer and the GPO. So frequently, the organizations have data mismatches.
Because of all these membership and contract changes, there are many billing errors and queries. So MediLedger helped create a so-called single source of truth. When a hospital joins or leaves a GPO, all the organizations share the same data. If the manufacturer changes the contract terms, the wholesaler and members of the GPO all have access to the data.
And MediLedger continues to add new members and functionality on an increasingly regular basis.