Easy access to primary healthcare is critical for early detection and treatment of health conditions. Primary health care is best delivered by teams of primary care physicians coordinating care between them. however, Sub-Saharan Africa has little universal access to such care.
There is a real opportunity for digital healthcare platforms to increase access to team-based care across the region. They can reduce the cost of quality care, reach patients in remote areas and reduce pressure on traditional medical support systems while improving health outcomes..
The pandemic has seen such platforms globally, and Africa is not exempt. A new platform (as yet unnamed) is launching from South Africa and seeks to provide accessible quality care for Africans with its telehealth service. Today, it has closed a pre-Series A round of $3 million to that end.
Yes, you may be wondering why the platform doesn’t have a name (I am too), but interestingly, a VC firm (Webrock Ventures) and two health tech companies (Healthforce.com) compel this new venture to start. is.
Here is a brief overview of all three.
webrock ventures is an investment company from Sweden that uses a venture-building model. so necessarily, The firm partners with tech companies in Sweden and combines its cash with the company’s business model to create a portfolio business.. It does so while maintaining a substantial stake in the company.
health force is a South Africa-based health tech company that strives to improve healthcare through multidisciplinary clinical teams. So far, it has established nurses in over 450 clinics across the country, while conducting over 10 lakh nurse consultations. Healthforce has also made telemedicine play with over 110,000 consultations since the service was launched last year.
As a Sweden-based telehealth company, from Dr. Allows patients to contact healthcare professionals through their smartphones across the entire spectrum of primary care. Most of its customers are in Europe as well as Latin America.
So why form a partnership to launch a telehealth product in South Africa, with further roll-outs planned in other African countries down the line.?
Globally, telehealth investment has skyrocketed and increased by more than 50% since the start of the pandemic. With many of the fastest growing economies globally, investors and companies (in this case, Webrock and Doktor.se) are now turning to Africa as a major growth region for such high-demand services. Huh..
Now, Doktor.se has two models for commercializing telemedicine applications. The first is to use its technology personally Provide health services. The second model licenses core technology to third parties in markets in which Doktor.se has no intention of expanding. Doktor.se achieved this with Brazilian health tech startup ViBe Sade (via Webrock), and last year, there were more than 1.2 million patient consultations on the platform.. It plans to do so by licensing its technology to provide care through Healthforce across Africa..
By forming a new partnership, an entirely new opportunity is established. Healthforce can leverage its current position to move core tech from Doktor.se into a new direct-to-patient market. In the background is Webrock, a willing investment machine set up to scale the platform.
The new venture will focus on the uninsured, B2C segment through a freemium-type offering. The platform provides on-demand and scheduled consultations with nurses, general practitioners and mental health professionals. It also provides chronic care management and will to integrate With Healthforce’s comprehensive primary care offering.
Saul Kournick, co-founder and CEO at Healthforce, will resume a new role at the newly formed company. According to him, the partnership Healthforce an . gives Apart from Products to add to your health care product stack. with this, this gives Doktor.se the ability to generate license fee revenue from a new market, while Webrock has the opportunity to invest in another large developing market..
“Webrock and Healthforce partnered to bring funding and strategic/operational efficiencies to this new pan-African direct-to-patient play, respectively,” he told Nerdshala. “All existing independent operations will continue. howeverUnder NewCo, Healthforce will expand its primary care product stack as a major shareholder and generate revenue from license fees earned Doktor.se“
Sub-Saharan Africa has a healthcare market of about $90 billion. But health insurance coverage is in the single-digit (percentage-wise) with 16% coverage in countries in sub-Saharan Africa excluding South Africa. Kournick says all three parties want to tackle a large part of this challenge and are aligned About how the healthcare system in Africa was working Better.
“It’s a pure-sports provider-healthcare enterprise. Through this pan-African venture, we will provide high quality healthcare at low cost to 75 million people through telemedicine, in fact Putting healthcare in the palm of your hands,” he added.
Partner at Webrock Ventures Joshin Raghubar and co-founder and CEO of Docker, Martin LindemannExcited about the opportunity Africa presents with its large population and growing smartphone penetration.
This new venture, which is expected to have a name soon, is one of the few health tech platforms based in South Africa to have raised seven-figure sums in a fintech-dominated year. in February, HereX Group, a company that specializes in hearing healthcare technology, raises $8.3 million Series A to expand to the US as seen by Quro Medical in April Close a $1.1 million seed round To enhance its service which manages sick patients from the comfort of their homes. Given the differences between each fundraiser, we should see more from the country before the year ends.