ConnectMed founder joins Google as product manager after take over by Merck

Featured image: ConnectMed founding CEO Melissa McCoy (Melissa McCoy via LinkedIn)

ConnectMed founding CEO Melissa McCoy has joined Google as a product manager, following the takeover of the Nairobi-based healthtech startup through an asset sale by multinational pharmaceutical company Merck.

McCoy (pictured above) founded the ConnectMed with Chris Harding in 2016. Up until December last year, the startup offered telehealth services for acute and chronic primary health conditions in Kenya and South Africa.

In a statement on 29 March, ConnectMed said Merck will take over the startup’s telehealth applications and related management systems for its CURAFA platform, with the startup ceasing operations.

ConnectMed wad founded by Melissa McCoy and Chris Harding in 2016

McCoy told Ventureburn last Friday (12 April) that she is now a product manager at Google where she is building products specifically for users in emerging markets. Some of these include GPay in India, Google Station and Files by Google.

“I’ll probably return the startup world but needed a year or two of a break,” said McCoy.

McCoy would not disclose how much Merck had acquired the startup for in a deal that was concluded last month. Responding to a Ventureburn question on whether selling ConnectMed was part of the founders plan, she said that she and Harding had hoped to scale the the venture across Sub-Saharan Africa and then sell it.

After its launch in 2017, ConnectMed developed telehealth kiosks to provide its services within Kenyan pharmacies, operating in over 30 locations in Kenya, including in Merck’s CURAFA points of care.

ConnectMed has launched three direct-to-consumer digital health products in Kenya and South Africa and served over 8000 patients, along with corporate clients. In addition the startup , which had grown to a team of 18 staff members was generating monthly recurring revenue of $6000.

The startup raised over $300 000 in investment and was supported by the University of Cape Town’s Bertha Centre, the University of Oxford’s Skoll Centre, Entrepreneur First and Katapult Accelerator.

Featured image: ConnectMed founding CEO Melissa McCoy (Melissa McCoy via LinkedIn)

Daniel Mpala
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