The West African digital health market is heating up with two new companies in the region announcing Series A fundings. 

This morning DrugStoc, a Nigeria-based startup focused on the medical supply chain, scored $4.4 million in a funding round led by Africa HealthCare Master Fund with participation from Vested World and German Development Bank. 

The company created a digital platform that helps healthcare providers access pharmaceutical and healthcare products. According to the startup, it’s focused on providing affordable medicines in a quality controlled system.

DrugStoc has caught the attention of major industry players. The company was incubated under Stanford’s Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies and Jack Ma’s entrepreneur program in Africa. 

West African startup African Health Holdings announced an $18 million Series A round led by Asia Pac Land/Natural World Limited with participation from TRB Advisors, Breyer Capital, M3, Inc., Valiant Capital, Keppel Ventures and SUNU Capital, according to a TechCrunch report.

The company pins itself as a tech-backed healthcare provider. It has created a mobile companion app to help coordinate care and virtually connect with doctors, according to the report. This new funding round brings the company’s total raise to $32 million, according to CrunchBase

WHY IT MATTERS 

Both companies plan to use the new funds to grow their businesses. DrugStoc plans to expand its tech beyond Lagos. It said it will do this by investing in cold chain infrastructure and building on its partnerships. 

​​“DrugStoc has demonstrated impressive growth and the ability to improve healthcare providers’ access to pharmaceuticals in Nigeria. I am excited to support DrugStoc’s innovative work building a reliable, resilient, and high-quality pharmaceutical supply chain across Africa. 

“I am confident that DrugStoc will succeed in making a critical healthcare difference that will help save lives,” Liam O’Connor, an individual investor in the company, said in a statement.

Africa Health Holdings CEO Sangu Delle told TechCrunch that his company plans to use the new money to expand virtual consultations beyond Ghana and into Kenya and Nigeria. He also plans to expand the company’s geographical reach to include East, North and Southern Africa. 

THE LARGER TREND 

While the bulk of digital health funding hubs remain in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, the African market is growing. 

For example, Rwanda’s government has taken an active interest in implementing digital health tools in its healthcare system. In 2020, the government inked a 10-year deal with its longtime partner Babylon to provide every citizen over the age of 12 with access to digital health consultations.

Digital health funding is also pouring into the region. In 2020, Nigerian startup Helium Health, a connected care company, scored $10 million in funding. Last week, the company announced its plans to acquire Qatar-based Meddy Health



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