Kenyan-based Zuri Health, a health tech startup offering mobile-based healthcare has received $1.3-million funding to expand across Africa.
The digital healthcare company completed a funding round attracting investment from DOB Equity, Launch Africa, and Founders Factory Africa to expand across Africa.
Zuri Health plans to use the investment to further build out its digital platform, grow its product offerings and launch operations in new markets. This has also been made possible with additional investments from V8 Capital, Platform Capital, Villgro Africa, Asime Ventures, and the Salik Family Trust.
Zuri Health connects mass-market patients with healthcare services via SMS, WhatsApp, and a dedicated app. The company initially launched in Kenya in January 2021 but is now present in Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania, and Zambia. Zuri Health has so far partnered with 16+ major mobile network operators in seven countries with over 400,000 SMS subscribers, over 300 doctors, 27 lab and diagnostic centers, and 15 pharmacies across its markets.
Zuri Health was launched by Ikechukwu Arthur Anoke and Daisy Isiaho after they both faced personal health crises that were solved by telemedicine. They saw this as an opportunity to build an affordable, personalized, and convenient customer journey for mobile subscribers seeking healthcare services.
Anoke previously spent several years at technology company Mtech, where he led efforts to provide value-added services to mobile subscribers, while Isiaho previously worked for another tech company, MarketForce. This experience has helped Anoke and Isiaho understand how to improve and democratize access to healthcare in a post-Covid environment, enabling them to develop the business model of Zuri Health and map out its growth trajectory.
Zuri Health has partnered with telecoms like MTN, Safaricom, and Telkom (Kenya) and aggregates healthcare providers like medical labs, pharmacies, and hospitals. This has enabled Zuri Health to bring healthcare services closer to patients – doctors are a few clicks or a text away.
“We are driven by the impact our service could have —to be a solution to Africa’s lack of sufficient healthcare. Healthcare infrastructure in most parts of Africa is grossly inadequate, with painfully high doctor-patient ratios. There are many Africans who cannot afford healthcare services or who live too far away from healthcare facilities. And with skilled healthcare workers increasingly leaving Africa for greener pastures, the situation is worsening,” CEO and founder of Zuri Health, Anoke, said.
“We have a burning desire to democratize healthcare access and harness the power of technology to provide quality, first-tier medical services,” he added.
“We believe that Anoke, Isiaho and the Zuri Health team have created a platform that addresses the large healthcare infrastructure gap that exists on the continent and has the potential to ensure access to affordable medical care for every African. We look forward to working closely with the team to transform access to healthcare,” Dr. Akintoye Akindele, Chairman of Platform Capital, said.