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Headquarters Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.
Key people
Ashifi Gogo CEO
Alden Zecha, CFO
Website Sproxil.com

Sproxil is an American venture capital-backed [1] for-profit company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts that provides a consumer SMS and App product verification service (called Mobile Product AuthenticationTM or MPATM) to help consumers avoid purchasing counterfeit products. The service was the first Mobile Authentication Service (MAS) to launch in Nigeria.[2] The ISO 27001 and ISO 9001 certified company also offers supply chain protection solutions (including Track and Trace), mobile-based loyalty and marketing programs, and advisory services.[3]

Sproxil has operations in Ghana (serving West Africa), Nigeria, Kenya (serving East Africa), and India.


A drug package with Sproxil label and phone showing SMS reply.
Package with Sproxil label and phone showing SMS reply

Sproxil’s service places a security label with a scratch-off panel on all protected products. Consumers scratch off the panel at point of purchase to reveal a unique one-time use code. This is a form of mass serialization. The code is sent via SMS or mobile app to a country-specific short code, and the consumer receives a reply almost instantly indicating that the product is genuine or suspicious. The company also has a 24/7 call center to provide support during the verification process and take in anonymous reports of suspicious counterfeiting activity.

Sproxil’s services are currently used by several pharmaceutical companies in the fight against counterfeit drugs.[4] The fake drug market, according to the World Customs Organization, is estimated to be a $200 Billion a year industry.[5] The problem of counterfeit drugs is particularly acute in emerging markets; the World Health Organization estimates 30% of drugs in these markets are fake and may be very harmful to consumers.[6]

To date, Sproxil protects products across over ten industries, including pharmaceuticals, agribusiness, automotive parts, and beauty & personal care.[7]

Recent activity[edit]

In 2010, NAFDAC, the Nigerian government agency overseeing food and drugs, endorsed the Sproxil platform[8][9][10] and the service has been widely deployed throughout Nigeria.[11][12] In April 2011, CNN published a video discussing the role Sproxil played in the fight against counterfeit drugs in Nigeria.[13]

Sproxil - along with Pfizer, Vodafone, and WaterHealth International - has committed to the Business Call to Action (BCtA), a global leadership initiative made up of companies that apply their core business expertise to the achievement of the eight internationally agreed Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).[14]

Sproxil CEO Ashifi Gogo was praised by former United States President Bill Clinton, who described Gogo’s work as a “genuinely remarkable achievement.”[15]

In February 2011, Sproxil announced that it had received $1.8 million in funding from Acumen Fund.[16] Funding is being used to help the company expand into India.[17]

Johnson & Johnson and GSK (GlaxoSmithKline) are using Sproxil services in Africa as is the Nigerian distributor of Merck KGaA named Biofem.[18]

In June 2011, Sproxil launched operations in India [19] and in July 2011 Kenya's Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) also adopted similar text message-based anti-counterfeiting systems.[20] As of early 2012, Sproxil announced that more than one million people in Africa had checked their medicines using the text-message based verification service developed by Sproxil.[21]

In August 2012, Sproxil and Bharti Airtel, a global telecommunications company announced a partnership to combat the counterfeit drug market in Africa using MPA. Airtel will offer the service absolutely free to its users and not charge for any SMS based verification.[22]

In February 2013, Sproxil signed on East African Cables to protect their electric cables through the Zinduka Initiative. The initiative utilizes the MPA solution to help consumers verify that their electrical cables are genuine before purchase. This partnership marked Sproxil's further expansion into non-pharmaceutical markets.[23] Other industries that uses Sproxil's solution is textile and clothing (underwear).[24]

Also around this time, Prashant Yadav, senior research fellow and director of Healthcare Research Initiative, joined Sproxil's board of advisors. Yadav is an expert in pharmaceutical and healthcare supply chain management in emerging markets, was formerly a professor of supply chain management at the MIT-Zaragoza International Logistics Program and currently serves as an advisor for multiple organizations in the area of pharmaceutical supply chains.[25]

CEO Ashifi Gogo was recently named by the White House as an Immigrant Innovator Champion of Change[26] and a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2014[27] for his work with Sproxil.

In 2014, the company expanded its MPA services, originally available to consumers by SMS and call center, by adding mobile apps[28] and a web app[29] to their solution suite. The same year, Sproxil became ISO-27001 (for information security controls) and ISO-9001 (for quality management systems) certified after a comprehensive review of its internal processes.[30] Soon after, Kenya-based agribusiness company Juanco SPS officially launched a consumer-facing project that protects pesticide Bestox 100EC with MPA technology. [31]

To date, the company has processed over 14 million verifications from consumers.[32] This is the highest recorded number of verifications of its kind.[33]


2014 Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award [34]

2013 USPTO Patents for Humanity Award [35]

2013 #1 in health care and #7 overall in Fast Company Magazine World's 50 Most Innovative Companies [36][37]

2012 ISMP Cheers Award - George DiDomizio Industry Award [38]

2012 ICC World Business and Development Award [39]

2010 Honorable Mention Global Finals, IBM Entrepreneur SmartCamp Competition[40][41][42]

2010 MassChallenge Finalist[43]

2010 Mobile Infrastructure Award, MITX[44]

2010 People’s Choice Award at Accelerate Michigan[45]

2010 Prize Winner, African Diaspora Marketplace[46][47]

2010 Audience Choice Award Life Sciences at Xconomy Xsite [48]

2009 Outstanding Commitment Award in Global Health, Clinton Global Initiative University[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Acumen Fund Invests in Sproxil, Inc. to Combat Counterfeit Medicine Using Mobile Technology
  2. ^ NAFDAC Launches Mobile Authentication Service in Nigeria with Sproxil’s Technology
  3. ^ Sproxil Solutions
  4. ^ Telecare Aware
  5. ^ Customs group to fight $200 bln bogus drug industry
  6. ^ a b Texting for Life: Mobile Phones Provide Freedom from the Ravages of Counterfeit Drugs in West Africa
  7. ^ About Sproxil
  8. ^ Sproxil - The fight against counterfeit drugs continues
  9. ^ NAFDAC launches mobile anti-counterfeiting service
  10. ^ Nigeria adopts SMS tech to thwart counterfeiters
  11. ^ How to identify fake Ampiclox
  12. ^ Sproxil lands $1.8 million to fight fake drugs
  13. ^ CNN Video
  14. ^ Business Call to Action commitment
  15. ^ Sproxil Saves Lives With Scratch-Off Tags and Robust Back-End Analytics
  16. ^ Kutz, Erin. "Sproxil Grabs $1.8M". Xconomy. Retrieved 14 February 2012. 
  17. ^ Taylor, Phil. "Sproxil wins $1.8m in funding, expands into India". SecuringPharma. Retrieved 14 February 2012. 
  18. ^ J&J is latest client for SMS verification specialist Sproxil
  19. ^ "Sproxil launches its operations in India"
  20. ^ "Kenya plans national roll-out of mobile anti-counterfeiting tech"
  21. ^ "Sproxil claims milestone with 1 millionth medicine verification". SecuringPharma. Retrieved 14 February 2012. 
  22. ^ "Sproxil and Airtel Partner to Accelerate the Expansion of Sproxil’s SMS Verification Solution | The Sproxil Blog". 2012-08-28. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  23. ^ "Sproxil East Africa and East African Cables forge partnership under Zinduka Initiative | The Sproxil Blog". 2013-02-06. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  24. ^ Zax, David (2013-04-15). "Counter Intelligence: Taking On Counterfeiters, One Pair Of Underwear At A Time | Fast Company | Business + Innovation". Fast Company. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  25. ^ "Healthcare Research Initiative’s Prashant Yadav Joins Sproxil’s Advisory Board | The Sproxil Blog". 2013-02-20. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  26. ^ "Immigrant Innovators | The White House". Whitehouse.gov. 2013-04-01. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  27. ^ "The Social Entrepreneurs of the Year 2014 Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship". Schwab Foundation. 2014-03-18. Retrieved 2014-03-24. 
  28. ^ http://www.sproxil.com/apps.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  29. ^ http://www.sproxil.com/verify.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  30. ^ http://www.securingindustry.com/electronics-and-industrial/anti-counterfeit-technology-news-in-brief/s105/a2162/#.VLbxFIrF-lI.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  31. ^ http://www.sproxil.com/blog/?p=995.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  32. ^ "Sproxil | CrunchBase Profile". Crunchbase.com. 2011-02-28. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  33. ^ Number of Verifications
  34. ^ http://www.schwabfound.org/content/ashifi-gogo.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  35. ^ "2013 Award Recipients". Uspto.gov. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  36. ^ "07_Sproxil | Fast Company | Business + Innovation". Fast Company. 2013-02-11. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  37. ^ "The World's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Health Care | Fast Company | Business + Innovation". Fast Company. 2013-02-11. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  38. ^ "ISMP Cheers Awards Winners". Ismp.org. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  39. ^ "World Business and Development Awards | ICC - International Chamber of Commerce". Iccwbo.org. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  40. ^ 2010 IBM SmartCamp Finalists
  41. ^ Sproxil takes on Africa’s drug counterfeiters
  42. ^ Boston IBM Smartcamp Finalists announced
  43. ^ MassChallenge Announces Top 110 Finalist Startup Teams
  44. ^ Sproxil’s brand authentication technology earns IBM, MITX honors
  45. ^ Sproxil wins People’s Choice at Accelerate Michigan
  46. ^ Sproxil Wins Long-Term Support from USAID, Western Union and Ecobank
  47. ^ Awash in Fake Drugs, Nigerians Fight Back
  48. ^ Xconomy XSITE 2010 Highlighted Innovation and Technology in Building the Next Economy

External links[edit]