Digital and data
Connecting Africa and the world – and driving differentiation, optimisation and disruption – means we must acquire, develop and deploy leading digital capabilities. Imperial’s digital strategy therefore centres on the use of best-of-breed and emerging technology to provide clients with the innovative solutions they require to differentiate themselves from their competitors. We embrace market disruptors and leverage innovation so that our clients will not only survive - but thrive - well into the future.
Digitisation, data, new technologies and automation – including the rise of e-commerce, online consumer engagement and tele medicine – shape our business models and help futureproof our business and our industry. With a flexible IT setup and a ‘digital first’ approach, Imperial offers high grade automation and best-in-class IT systems – tailored to the processes of our clients, principals and customers.
Innovation venture fund
Our disruptive innovation fund, in partnership with Newtown Partners, makes available an initial capital investment of USD20 million to provide a mechanism to invest in innovative developments. We refined our investment principles and focus areas to fund high-potential start-ups in freight logistics, supply chain management and healthtech that use emerging technologies and disruptive business models to drive value.
Investing in innovative technology, relevant to our business and aligned to our strategy will allow us to mitigate the risk of disruption, positioning the group at the forefront of innovation and allowing us to capitalise on the ongoing evolution of technology.
Over the past twelve months, we concluded our first three investments in a digital distributor, digital freight forwarder and a point-of-care diagnostics enabler.
Each of these minority investments have a time-to-value of five to seven years and were selected on the basis that they exhibit capabilities that may become strategically relevant to Imperial at that time and at commercial scale.
These startups are positioned to grow rapidly in their home markets before leveraging their disruptive competitive advantage to enter new geographical markets and service areas, reorganising value chains, addressing new customer segments more effectively than before and displacing incumbents in the process.
As they scale, some of these startups will become increasingly integrated into Imperial’s value chain, where they will continue to both disrupt existing markets and enhance the competitiveness of our value proposition to clients.
- Field Intelligence is a technology enabled pharmaceutical distributor for community pharmacies in Nigeria and Kenya. Field Intelligence enables disruptive new sources of customer value by proactively managing stock levels and expiry, as well as working capital finance, with more opportunities to address more of the value chain as it scales.
- Shypple is a digital freight forwarder – based in the Netherlands - that currently serves predominantly the port of Rotterdam and Schiphol airport. Price and supply chain transparency, as well as certainty of supply and demand are disruptive drivers of future value in air and ocean freight forwarding and key to Shypple’s value proposition.
- RedBird supplies proven rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) and related hardware to pharmacies in Ghana. RDTs disrupt traditional healthcare diagnosis because they are effective in low resource, point-of-care environments and require little training. RedBird augments this capability with flexible financing and patient healthcare monitoring software.