Because we track locally-driven innovations in health-tech across the African continent, we curate a monthly newsletter to share our most “salient” learnings in more real time. We welcome submissions and suggestions.
We’re hiring! Salient is looking for an experienced engagement manager who is passionate about the future of health technology, supply chain & essential medicine distribution across the African continent.
Exploring digital approaches for contraceptive care in Nigeria and Kenya
Salient has launched a new case study on the future of digitally enabled contraceptive care in Kenya and Nigeria. We highlight how health-tech innovators could help expand access to sexual & reproductive health products and services in both countries, exciting companies to keep an eye on, and recommendations for an ecosystem-building approach.
Sustained funding momentum for African health-tech start-ups
DrugStoc, a Nigeria-based drug procurement start-up raised $4.4 million in a Series A funding round led by Africa HealthCare Master Fund with participation from the German Development Bank and Vested World. DrugStoc is aiming to rapidly expand its services across Nigeria over the next two years.
Africa Health Holdings, a healthcare start-up operating in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria raised $18 million in a Series A round to scale its “tech-forward healthcare system.” The start-up operates hospitals across the three countries and is aiming to expand its telemedicine service as well, to deliver in-person and virtual services to patients. The round was led by Asia Pacific Land and Natural World Limited, with participation from TRB Advisors, Breyer Capital, M3, Inc., Valiant Capital, Kepple Africa Ventures and SUNU Capital.
Egypt’s Bypa-ss raised $1 million in a pre-seed round, which saw participation from Magic Fund, Acuity Ventures, Launch Africa and Plug and Play among others, to scale its cloud-based solution which stores patients’ medical records collected from different healthcare providers.
Viebeg Technologies, a Rwanda-based procurement and supply chain solutions start-up, raised $1 million in funding from the Rwandan Innovation Fund, a venture fund backed by the Africa Development Bank and the Rwandan government. AURA, a South-African medical emergency response start-up raised $4.7 million in a Series A round led by MultiChoice Group with participation from KLT Holdings and Buffet Investments.
In a significant move, Helium Health, a Nigerian tech solutions provider for hospitals, acquired UAE-based start-up Meddy as part of its expansion plans. The acquisition of Meddy, which provides patients with a doctor booking platform, adds an international dimension to Helium Health’s operations after Africa-focused expansion to Ghana, Senegal, Liberia, Kenya and Uganda over the past five years.
Private sector-led initiatives are backing innovations to improve healthcare access in Kenya
Kenyan health-tech start-up MYDAWA received a grant award of $1.2 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support HIV/AIDS treatment by improving access to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) services through its online pharmacy model. MYDAWA’s digitally-enabled convenient and discreet service seeks to limit the impact of stigma for patients seeking treatment.
Insurance provider Britam and healthcare financing app M-TIBA have received grant funding from Swiss Capacity Building Facility to scale up a mobile health insurance solution aimed at making coverage accessible and affordable for small businesses and informal workers. The grant will fund customer research and digital marketing as well as increase data analytics capacities.
Jubilee Health Insurance, one of Kenya’s largest insurers, received $100,000 funding from the International Finance Corporation to improve emergency rescue and diabetes management services for patients. Jubilee will collaborate with Rescue.co, an emergency response service that reduces response times by aggregating public and private ambulances into a single network.
Innovator spotlight: Zipline’s expanding use-case for medical logistics and regional expansion plans
In Ghana, drone delivery start-up Zipline is reportedly set to begin delivery of medicines to patients’ homes, including people in remote areas cut off by floods or emergencies.
It’s an intriguing evolution of Zipline’s model (which has previously focused on distributing medical supplies to health centres) and can significantly impact patient-focused last-mile delivery services. The start-up is also boosting its coverage capacity in Ghana—where it distributed nearly a million routine vaccines this year alone—by establishing four more distribution centers over the next year.
Having operated mainly in Ghana and Rwanda so far, Zipline is also looking to replicate its model and success in other parts of the continent with operations underway in Nigeria and a partnership with Côte d’Ivoire’s Ministry of Health also recently announced.
See you next year!
As 2021 comes to a close, we want to Thank You for joining us as we follow the best and brightest in African health tech. We’re continually inspired by the vision, creativity and tenacity of technologists across the continent – and hope you have been too. Wishing everyone a healthful transition into the new year.
– Mara, Remi, Yomi, Dunni, Samantha, Malyse, Francis, Vaidehi & Waiwai
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