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Ilara Health raises $4.2 million to scale operations in East Africa and expand access to healthcare

The company serves 3,000 clinics across Kenya, out of the estimated 15,000 operational clinics in the country.

A doctor and a patient

Ilara Health, a Kenya-based healthtech company that helps private clinics access diagnostic devices and pharmaceutical products, has secured $4.2 million in debt-equity funding. The funds will be used to scale operations in East Africa and expand access to healthcare.

DOB Equity spearheaded the $2.5 million equity round, joined by the Philips Foundation and continuing support from existing investors such as AAIC Investment, Angaza Capital, Black Pearl Investments, and Perivoli Innovations. Notably, debt investment was secured from Alphamundi, Kiva Capital, and Boehringer Ingelheim. This latest round elevates the total funding - encompassing debt, equity, and grants - acquired by the startup to $11.7 million.

Founded in 2019 by  Emilian Popa (CEO), Maximilian Mancini (co-CEO) and Sameer Afzal Farooqi (COO), Ilara Health initially focused on leasing diagnostic devices to clinics. However, the company has since expanded its services to facilitate the acquisition of pharmaceutical products and other essentials, such as hospital furniture, on credit for health centres. 

Ilara’s is focusing on the burgeoning private healthcare sector in Kenya. This sector serves individuals with medical insurance or the means for out-of-pocket payments, offering an alternative to often under-resourced government-run facilities.

The company shared that it serves 3,000 clinics across Kenya, out of the estimated 15,000 operational clinics in the country. These clinics are often located within residential areas making them easily accessible. Still, they’re a more expensive, alternative to public facilities, where occasional equipment breakdown disrupts service delivery.

To solve this, Ilara’s partnerships with prominent manufacturers, like Butterfly Network, enable them to offer portable ultrasound devices at accessible prices and bring scanning services closer to their customers. In addition to this, the startup provides clinics with a $6.25 monthly subscription-based practice management software, to digitise their operations and improve the management of their businesses.

Looking ahead, Ilara plans to double down on reaching the patients through the B2B health and occupational service, through which they will partner with employers to give employees access to various outpatient services at partner clinics.

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