Nairobi-based healthtech startup Ilara Health has raised $735 000 in seed funding from a group of angel investors and venture capital (VC) firms.
The angel investors that participated in the deal include Esther Dyson, Nijhad Jamal, Aadil Mamujee, former director of the Africinvest Innovation Fund Selma Ribica and Shakir Merali.
The startup was founded last year by CEO Emilian Popa, COO Amaan Banwait and VP sales Hannes Eckmayr.
Ilara Health will use the investment to expand in Kenya and to develop its tech platform
Ilara Health distributes low-cost artificial intelligence (AI) powered diagnostic devices to primary care doctors in peri-urban and rural clinics.
The startup’s diagnostic devices are bundled with Ilara Health’s proprietary electronic medical record (EMR) systems which records patient data and helps doctors to provide effective patient management.
Ilara Health explained in a statement that the funding will be used to primarily grow the startup’s peri-urban medical clinic customers in Kenya.
In addition, the investment will also allow the firm to build a “flexible” technology platform to manage and protect patient health and clinic financial data.
Amaan said the three founders started the company to help doctors bring life-saving diagnostics to the 500 million people in sub-Saharan Africa who “need them the most”.
Popa pointed out that 70% of patients need some form of medical test to inform their treatment, but many doctors across the continent 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,” he added.
Columbia Business School announced in a statement last week Wednesday (31 July) that Ilara Health was one of four startups awarded seed grants through the school’s Tamer Fund for Social Ventures. The fund provides seed grants of up to $25 000.
Featured image: Ilara Health (Screenshot)