With the disruption caused by Covid-19, it’s a good time to spotlight some health tech startups providing innovative solutions to the problems bedeviling Africa’s healthcare system.
However, across the continent, Africa’s innovators are looking to leverage technology to ensure quality medical care is universally accessible. Here introduce 10 exceptional e-health startups, making an impact in healthcare provision continent-wide.
This Ghana-headquartered but Pan-African healthtech startup was among the very first to announce a funding round in 2022.
The company raised $35 million in a Series D funding round that was led by JAM Fund, Unbound, Lux Capital, Northstar, Social Capital, etc. The deal comprised of $30 million in equity and $5 million in debt.
Kenyan e-health startup Afya Rekod closed a US$2 million seed round to help it scale across the continent.
Built on blockchain technology, Afya Rekod wants to create seamless mobilized healthcare in Africa, where the patients—who are the only moving parts in healthcare—own all the rights to their data.
Founded in 2019 by the co-founder and CEO of Adanian Labs John Kamara, Afya Rekod provides 4 unique offerings to its customers: its core patient’s portal; electronic health record systems (EHRs) for hospitals; diagnostic centres for medical labs; and disease management for control and management of chronic diseases like Ebola and COVID-19.
Founded in 2020 by medical doctors Chad Marthinussen and Wade Palmer, and chartered accountant Abdul Malick Salie, iNNOHEALTH’s focus is on providing solutions for quality, affordable and equitable healthcare to everyone on the African continent.
The startup’s first product is the doctor-led app MyPocketHealth, an integrated patient healthcare platform that will provide comprehensive AI-driven digital healthcare solutions for all South Africans once it launches later this year.
The e-health startup iNNOHEALTH secured a seven-figure seed investment from an unnamed Hong Kong-based VC for the AI-based healthcare platform it hopes will position it at the forefront of digital healthcare in the country.
In February, Nigerian e-health startup Reliance Health announced the completion of a US$40 million Series B funding round to help it expand in emerging markets around the world and add to its product suite.
Founded by Femi Kuti, Opeyemi Olumekun, and Matthew Mayaki in 2015 as a telemedicine-focused startup named Kangpe, Reliance Health later expanded into a single-fee healthcare provider to better address the complex, evolving needs of patients.
Using an integrated approach that includes affordable health insurance, telemedicine, and a combination of partner and proprietary healthcare facilities, Reliance has so far impacted over 200,000 lives and 600 companies.
Its US$40 million Series B, a leading global growth equity investor making its first technology investment in Africa, with participation from Partech, Picus Capital, Tencent Exploration, Asia Africa Investment and Consulting (AAIC), P1 Ventures, Laerdal Million Lives Fund, M3, Inc, and Arvanitis Social Foundation. It takes the startup’s total secured funding to US$48 million.
In March, Egyptian e-health startup Chefaa raised an undisclosed amount of funding to help it expand its network, release a new product, and launch in new markets.
Founded in 2017 by Rasha Rady and Doaa Aref, Chefaa is an e-pharmacy platform that provides an end-to-end healthcare experience. The startup offers compliant, ethical and patient-centric services to users through several services, including its main platform and an app.
The undisclosed amount of funding comes from Newtown Partners and Global Brain, as well as GMS Capital Partners, and will be used by Chefaa to further expand its network and launch in new markets. It will also support the release of its Chefaa Prime product, a complete medical insurance alternative designed for emerging markets.
Uganda’s Rocket Health, a telemedicine and last-mile healthcare provider, closed a US$5 million Series A funding in March round to accelerate its technology roadmap and geographical expansion to the different regions of Uganda and into Kenya.
Founded in 2012, Rocket Health is the number one telemedicine player in Uganda, offering an end-to-end healthcare experience to over 25,000 individual patients.
The startup’s solution leverages technology to provide four integrated services – 24/7 teleconsultations, medicine delivery, home sample collection for laboratory diagnostic testing, and physical specialist clinic consultations.
Rocket Health’s US$5 million Series A was led by Creadev, an evergreen investment fund backed by the Mulliez family of French entrepreneurs. Creadev is joined by existing early-stage African investors Grenfell Holdings and LoftyInc Capital Management who participated in the round. The startup will use the funding to expand further across Uganda and into Kenya.
O7 Therapy – a digital platform and a smartphone app that specializes in online therapy, corporate wellness programs, and psychoeducational resources for “Arabic-speaking users” – raised a total of $2.1 million in a funding round led by Hikma Ventures in April.
The venture capital firm is part of the London-headquartered Hikma Pharmaceuticals.
The Cairo-based health tech startup focused on providing mental health services in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has just secured one of the largest investment rounds for its sector in the region.
Egyptian startup Rology, an on-demand teleradiology platform, closed a pre-Series A round of funding to help it expand across the Middle East and Africa in April 2022.
Founded by Amr AboDraiaa, Moaaz Hossam, Mahmoud Eldefrawy and Bassam Khallaf in October 2017, Rology has built a cloud-based platform that provides intelligent matchmaking between patients and remote radiologists, tackling the global shortage of the latter.
The startup’s technology can be launched with zero setup costs for hospitals as well as for radiologists, and gives radiologists the freedom to work from anywhere in the world as long as they have access to a laptop and internet connection.
Rology last secured funding in 2020 and has now secured an undisclosed amount of pre-Series A funding to empower its geographical expansion in the MEA region. Investors include Egypt Ventures and Sequence Ventures from Egypt, Waseel, and Tawaref from Saudi Arabia, and Viktoria Ventures from Kenya.
In March 2022, Susu, a global health-tech company, focused on making healthcare accessible and affordable for every African, completed a €2 million pre-seed funding round with angel investors.
Part of the funding was also raised as debt, and grant financing from BPI France, the French government’s public investment bank.
The Ivorian Coast-based start-up was founded in 2019 by Bola Bardet after she lost her father to complications of a chronic health condition due to poor management.
Currently operational in Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, and Senegal, the startup offers bundled health services that provide patients with planned, long-term health support, in order to ensure optimal monitoring of their health conditions, including pregnancy, child care, and chronic disease management.