By Adedapo Adesanya
Nigerian digital health startup, Helium Health, has raised $10 million in Series A funding to expand its footprint to a wider market in Africa from its current coverage network.
The company, in an announcement, stated that the $10 million Series A funding round was led by Global Ventures and Asia Africa Investment & Consulting (AAIC).
Other participants in the funding were Tencent, Ohara Pharmaceutical Co, HOF Capital, Y Combinator, VentureSouq, Chrysalis Capital, Kairos Angels and Flying Doctors Healthcare Investment Company.
Founded in 2016, Helium Health takes hospitals and clinics instantly digital with its flagship Electronic Medical Records/Hospital Management Information System (EMR/HMIS) product, the most widely used such solution in West Africa.
The Lagos-based startup plans to use the investment to not only expand its market footprint, but also grow its current customer base in Nigeria, Ghana, and Liberia.
To expand its footprint, the company will use the funding to support expansion into new markets in North Africa, East Africa and Francophone West Africa this year.
It is also in the process of growing its tech product suite beyond its flagship offering, rolling out newly developed software products for healthcare stakeholders – providers, payers, patients, and public health partners such as governments and donor agencies.
These new products will help boost operational efficiency, improve revenue generation, expand health financing, monitor public health and improve health outcomes.
They include Helium Teleclinic: a platform that enables brick and mortar hospitals to have televisits with their patients; HeliumPay, a billing and payments solution; Helium CareCredit, a provider-financing product; Helium Cover, an enrollee, tariff and claims management product; and the MyHelium Patient Superapp, an app that helps healthcare facilities manage patient engagement and retention.
“We started out with taking hospitals digital but our vision has always been bigger. We’re building the technology infrastructure to connect a fragmented healthcare sector and power the delivery of quality, affordable, comprehensive care across the continent,” said Mr Adegoke Olubusi, co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Helium Health.
“The devastating impact of the pandemic is a humbling reminder of how critical responsive and agile health systems are to our collective wellbeing.
“Only data and technology can produce the required responsiveness and agility to tackle health challenges of this magnitude. It has never been more imperative for Africa to build a modern and digitised healthcare system,” he said.
Mr Nobuhiko Ichimiya, co-lead investor at AAIC, said his company was honoured to be part of the journey with Helium Health.
“From our first meeting with the management team, we saw that the company had an outstanding track record and huge potential for digitising the healthcare sector in Africa,” he said.
On her part, Mrs Noor Sweid, general partner with Global Ventures, expressed excitement about the investment as the need for healthcare data and inclusion in emerging markets had been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Helium Health has the opportunity to solve large problems through its software and help accelerate healthcare accessibility,” she said.
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