CarePoint, a technology-driven healthcare startup, has raised a $10 million bridge round to accelerate its growth across Africa, as it seeks to make healthcare accessible to the masses.
The startup recently entered Egypt, its fourth market in Africa, after Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana. It is now eyeing North and East Africa, to continue its growth which is driven by mergers and acquisitions.
The startup’s founder and CEO, Dr. Sangu Delle, told TechCrunch that they are in the process of setting up telemedicine centers in their facilities and building “micro-tech-enabled-clinics” targeting the masses. This will grow CarePoint’s, formerly known as Africa Health Holdings, portfolio beyond in-person visits.
“The micro-clinics will have, at most, 12 employees, including a nurse. The patients will consult with doctors virtually. We are taking this route because we realized that as much as the mobile subscription in Africa is great and growing, if you look at it from an internet penetration perspective, so many people are still locked out because they cannot afford mobile data,” said Delle .
“These clinics are a way of democratizing access, and taking quality healthcare closer to the people, while making it affordable to them too,” he said.
Patients are also able to access care virtually through CarePoint’s MyCareMobile app, which links them to diverse services through teleconferencing, including consultations with their doctors, test results and 24-hour emergency response.
The startup is backed by five brands, including Sahe in Egypt, Meridian Health Group in Kenya, Rabito Clinic in Ghana and Nigeria’s Care Point, and Lilys Hospitals, all operating a total of 65 facilities.
Delle founded CarePoint after a long career as an investor and CEO at Golden Palm Investments, a venture firm with an interest in early-stage opportunities in Africa, where he still serves as the chairman.
“At Golden Palm we built a very active venture capital practice and invested in many of the leading tech startups today – including Flutterwave and mPharma. So, everything about CarePoint started at Golden Palm since it incubates businesses too,” said Delle, a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, and a Harvard and Oxford graduate
“We first started looking at healthcare because we realized that for us to have any socio-economic transformation, we have to solve health care challenges too. And to contextualize it, we (Africa) have about 16% of the global population, 26% of the global disease burden, but only 3% of global health care workers and 1% of global healthcare resources. We need to urgently bridge the gap, or we’re going to be in real trouble,” he said.
Delle appealed for urgent action and investment in the healthcare sector, especially given that the continent’s population is expected to almost double in the next three decades.
“From our thesis and pilot, we believe we can use technology as a key competitive differentiator to democratize access, and improve the quality of care,” said Delle.
Delle said CarePoint will use part of the funding to build data science and AI teams to strengthen its technological resources, in addition to introducing new products.
The latest funding round was led by TRB Advisors, and brings the total funding raised by CarePoint to $30 million. It follows a $18 million series A round announced mid-November last year.
New and existing investors that took part in the bridge round include Delle, Breyer Capital, Beyond Capital Ventures (BVC), M3, Inc, Asia Pacific Land/ Natural World Limited, and Alan Waxman, who is Sixth Street Partners’ CEO.
Eva Yazhari, a general partner at BVC, said, “CarePoint is at the forefront of creating solutions through its three core pillars of a scaled network of healthcare facilities, a strong technology backbone, and patient-centered care highlighted by the first Africa-focused healthcare data repository.”
The BVC also recently invested in Kasha Global, a Femtech retailer in East Africa and Viebeg, a heathtech company streamlining the medical supply chain in Eastern and Central Africa
“Beyond Capital Ventures is excited to participate in CarePoint’s Series B bridge round, and will work with Dr. Sangu Delle to scale an emerging technology-driven healthcare system in Africa… CarePoint is capturing demographic shifts to transform Africa into the next frontier for healthcare and transform health outcomes,” said Yazhari.