Kenyan e-health startup Zuri Health has landed a $1.3M pre-seed round of funding to grow its product offerings, widen its technology and expand into new markets.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, the health sector in Africa (like every other continent across the globe) has seen an influx of investments. These funds are used to create easier, faster, and much more personalised health care services.
Zuri Health, a Kenya e-health startup is the latest beneficiary of these investments with a $1.3M pre-seed round. Founded in January 2021, the virtual, mobile-first, on-demand healthcare platform helps patients quickly and easily access healthcare from certified healthcare providers, based on availability, location, and specialisation.
Initially launched in Kenya, Zuri Health is now operational in Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania, and Zambia. Ikechukwu Arthur Anoke and Daisy Isiaho founded it after facing personal health crises that were solved by telemedicine.
Spotting the opportunity, they decided to build an affordable, personalised, and convenient customer journey for mobile subscribers seeking healthcare services. They also leaned on their experience having worked at technology companies (Anoke at Mtech and Isiaho at MarketForce).
With their expertise and experience, both founders are helping to improve and democratise access to healthcare in a post-Covid environment.
Zuri Health partners with giant telecoms like MTN, Safaricom, and Telkom (Kenya) and aggregates healthcare providers such as medical labs, pharmacies, and hospitals. This brings healthcare services closer to patients – doctors are a few clicks or a text away.
The health startup currently partners with 16 major mobile network operators with over 400,000 SMS subscribers and has over 300 doctors, 27 lab and diagnostic centres and 15 pharmacies on its platform.
The investors who participated in the capital raise include DOB Equity, Launch Africa Ventures, Founders Factory Africa, V8 Capital, Platform Capital, Villgro Africa, Asime Ventures, and the Salik Family Trust as Zuri Health plans expansion across Africa.
The funding will be used to further build out its digital platform, grow its product offerings, and launch operations in new markets.
Speaking on the fundraise, Ikechukwu Anoke, CEO and founder of Zuri Health said “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. Many Africans cannot afford healthcare services or live too far away from healthcare facilities. And with skilled healthcare workers increasingly leaving Africa for greener pastures, the situation is worsening”.
He added, “We have a burning desire to democratise healthcare access and harness the power of technology to provide quality, first-tier medical services.”
Zachariah George, managing partner at Launch Africa Ventures, said his company believed in the Zuri team’s ability to blaze a trail in African e-health. “Zuri Health shows tremendous potential to scale across the continent and democratise access to healthcare,” he said.
Dr Akintoye Akindele, chairman of Platform Capital, who will join the Zuri board, disclosed that he looked forward to working closely with the team to transform access to healthcare.
“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,” he said.