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SA startup Healthcent nets R8m investment from Allan Gray, Umkathi Wethu Ventures


SA healthtech startup Healthcent announced today that it had secured R8-million in seed funding from black empowered holding company Umkhathi Wethu Ventures and investment firm Allan Gray.

Healthcent was founded in 2017 by Andrew Davies (pictured above) and Michael Gluckman. Davies is the ex-COO of now defunct social media platform Mxit, while Gluckman was the social media platform’s head of data.

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Healthcent’s platform Signapps facilitates collaboration and rapid response to patient needs by medical providers.

The platform allows multi-disciplinary teams to conduct conversations, share medical files and make updates easily and confidentially, from a mobile device. This, argues Healthcent, cuts down on costly consultation time.

Healthcent founder Andrew Davies said Signapps is currently used by 30 hospital groups, practices, associations and funders of care

Davies told Ventureburn today in a phone call that the funding was in the form of a simple agreement for future equity (SAFE) convertible note for “up to R8-million”, which is reliant on the startup meeting certain agreed milestones.

He added that the stake that each of the investors has taken in the startup will depend on the valuation the startup is able to get when it begins raising a Series-A round.

The startup has previously raised funding from seed investors Nicolas Schwartz, Giles Douglas and Daniel McPherson. Davies would not reveal what amount each investor had invested or what each of stake each had in the startup.

In an earlier statement today that the investment will enable the startup to expand its reach into the wider SA healthcare environment and to further develop the capabilities of the product.

Davies — who is also a non-executive director of two SA startups, Mobenzi and SweepSouth and an investor in Joburg-based edtech eGama — said the platform is currently being used by 30 customers comprising hospitals (public and private) and hospital groups, practices, associations and funders of care.

Drawn from the 30 customers, there are over 2000 users registered on the platform.

‘Impressed with what we saw’

Commenting in the same statement, Rob Dower, a director at Allan Gray, said the platform allows medical professionals to avoid the inaccuracies, delays and risks of paper-based record systems, without resorting to social networks to co-ordinate care, which are inappropriate for many reasons.

“As part of our due diligence we spent considerable time with Andrew’s team at Healthcent and several of their customers, and we were very impressed with what we saw,” Dower said.

Also commenting in the same statement, Umkhathi Wethu Ventures co-founder Sabelo Sithebe-Marishane said his company’s internal ventures team is looking to fund new businesses that can make a significant difference to society.

He added that the company is excited by the potential of Signapps in both the private and public health system in South Africa.

The LinkedIn profile of Umkhathi Wethu Ventures describes the company as a Johannesburg based “empowered holding company” founded by former investment banking professionals Sithebe-Marishane and Harry Apostoleris in 2017.

Last month the company took part in a funding round in SA insurtech Inclusivity Solutions (see this story).

Read more: HealthTech app, platform builders face legal hurdles in SA, hear delegates
Read more: HAVAIC to advise Healthcent before investment round

Featured image: Healthcent CEO Andrew Davies (Supplied)

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