Ilara Health, a Kenyan based health tech company bringing affordable diagnostics to doctors in Africa, has raised $700,000 in seed funding. Villgro Kenya, local incubation hub has joined a suite of seasoned investors including ShakaVC, a Nairobi-based firm backed by Chinese investors, Chandaria Capital and the venture capital arm Chandaria Industries.
Angel investors in this round include Esther Dyson (23andMe, Yandex, Meetup), Nijhad Jamal (Moja Capital, ex BlackRock, Acumen), Aadil Mamujee (Musha Ventures), Selma Ribica (AfricInvest, Lebara Money, M-Pesa), and Shakir Merali (LGT Impact, ex Abraaj). Several of the new investors will become strategic advisors to the business.
The investment will be used primarily to grow Ilara Health’s peri-urban medical clinic customers in Kenya (and ultimately beyond. It will also allow the company to build a flexible technology platform to manage and protect valuable patient health and clinic financial data.
Ilara Health provides a route to market for new tech-powered diagnostics and medical equipment to reach doctors who need them, supporting the rapid adoption of innovative technologies such as portable ultrasound and blood diagnostics for diabetes. The start-up makes common diagnostics accessible and affordable to the 500 million people in Africa who today struggle to access even basic blood tests.
Emilian Popa, Co-founder and CEO at Ilara Health, “Seventy percent of patients need some form of medical test to inform their treatment, but many doctors across Africa have limited ability to perform diagnostics in their clinics. When a patient needs a test, doctors often refer them to a lab. Given the infrastructure challenges across the region – the time, the money it takes to get anywhere – patients frequently fail to attend and care breaks down.”
Amaan Banwait, co-founder and COO added, “We founded Ilara Health to help doctors bring lifesaving diagnostics to the 500 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa who need them most.”
“We are pleased to partner with Ilara in enhancing the capacity of the private sector to provide quality, affordable primary healthcare to achieve UHC,” Dr. Robert Karanja, Villgro Kenya CEO.
The equipment provided by Ilara will increase both the productivity and diagnostic capabilities of medical facilities and clinics, and it also represents tangible assets that can serve as collateral for loans.