Kenyan e-health startup Zuri Health has raised a US$1.3 million pre-seed round of funding to grow its product offerings and expand into new markets.
Disrupt Africa reported in January 2021 on the launch of Zuri Health, a virtual, mobile-first, on-demand healthcare platform that helps patients quickly and easily access healthcare from certified healthcare providers, based on availability, location, and specialization.
The startup initially launched in Kenya but is now also present in Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania, and Zambia. It has partnered 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.
Zuri has now attracted US$1.3 million in pre-seed investment from DOB Equity, Launch Africa Ventures, Founders Factory Africa, V8 Capital, Platform Capital, Villgro Africa, Asime Ventures, and the Salik Family Trust as it 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.
“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. There are many Africans who cannot afford healthcare services or who live too far away from healthcare facilities. And with skilled healthcare workers increasingly leaving Africa for greener pastures, the situation is worsening,” said Ikechukwu Anoke, CEO and founder of Zuri Health.
“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, will join the Zuri board, and said 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.