Nigerian at-home lab testing platform Healthtracka gets $1.5M, backed by female VCs – Nob6
In accordance with this World Well being Group (WHO) article on treating most cancers, detecting symptomatic sufferers as early as attainable offers them the perfect probability for profitable therapy. Although it’s a template for most cancers therapy, it applies to any illness, lethal or not.
Diagnostics is on the middle of healthcare; with out it, docs and physicians can not provide therapy. However in rising markets like Africa, the place infrastructure is missing and the doctor-to-patient ratio stands at a staggering 1:5,000, common checkups are sometimes thought of an afterthought.
Healthtracka, a Lagos-based healthtech looking for to vary this narrative and drum house the proverb “prevention is best than remedy” with its at-home lab testing platform, has raised $1.5 million in seed funding. Ifeoluwa Dare-Johnson launched the corporate with Victor Amusan in Might 2021. And the information comes 5 months after its participation within the Techstars Toronto accelerator program final October.
Dare-Johnson labored a number of years within the healthcare house earlier than beginning Healthtracka. Sooner or later, she led advertising efforts at a diagnostic middle. But, it wasn’t a love for her work that pushed the chief government to sort out this downside; as a substitute, it was a firsthand expertise of the problems late, or no diagnostics could cause.
“As a scientist, I studied biochemistry at school and labored within the lab, so I knew how vital diagnostics was. Nevertheless it wasn’t till about 4 years in the past, when my dad had handed, that I began to look carefully into the house,” the founder and CEO informed Nob6 in an interview. “We stay in Africa, the place healthcare infrastructure is poor. So you’d assume that that might make individuals extra acutely aware about their well being, understanding no person will save them. Sadly, that’s not the case.”
Although seemingly match and wholesome on the floor, Dare-Johnson mentioned her dad had undetected well being points referring to diabetes and hypertension for a very long time. Whereas tens of millions of Africans are responsible of non-public well being miscalculations, different elements contribute to irregular checkups similar to ready instances and sluggish physician consultations when current in a hospital.
Telemedicine utilization in Africa has skyrocketed for the reason that pandemic because it addresses a few of these challenges discouraging sufferers from making routine checkups. Nonetheless, there are gaps in what telemedicine can cowl. For example, after most physician consultations, sufferers are required to go to hospitals for lab exams, which makes as much as 70% of all medical decision-making. Then there’s the problem of comfort when sufferers really feel reluctant to go to a laboratory or hospital.
“These had been a few of the issues that I noticed clearly and puzzled how we might get healthcare to that degree the place you could be at house and entry it seamlessly,” she mentioned. “We thought that might be a sport changer to how healthcare supply could be improved in Africa. Someone wanted to return into that house to consider find out how to resolve these operational challenges, construct the logistics, expertise, and the infrastructure to help the concept of at-home lab testing.”
Healthtracka’s providing is a web site the place people can e-book their lab exams on-line, have their samples collected at house, and get their outcomes by way of electronic mail inside 48 hours. The exams vary from fertility and STD exams to full physique rely and COVID exams.
The one-year-old healthtech focuses on preventive care and companions with lab facilities—which ship their phlebotomist to prospects’ houses—to diagnose. Dare-Johnson mentioned the staff’s expertise within the diagnostic discipline helps it create high quality checklists to vet these lab facilities, one in every of which is assembly the usual ISO laboratory accreditation.
Healthtracka additionally works with docs to assessment outcomes and specialists for additional session. However whereas a typical check covers phlebotomists’ journeys and docs’ reviewing outcomes, prospects pay additional when Healthtracka connects them with specialists if the analysis is worrying.
“When you do your full physique checkup with us, and there are indicators that present you have to take note of a few of your markers, which our inside docs cater to,” mentioned the CEO. “But when they really feel you have to search a specialist opinion on the end result’s marker, then we refer you to a specialist.”
Healthtracka’s community of phlebotomists has elevated 20x since its launch to over 100. And in keeping with Dare-Johnson, the corporate has delivered near 7,000 exams at house. Its income is rising 30% month-on-month consequently.
The corporate is taking three approaches to pursue extra progress and diversify its income streams. First, it’s launching subscription plans for its retail prospects. The second is betting on its B2B play: providing APIs for telehealth service suppliers, hospitals, and pharmacies to supply at-home blood testing for his or her sufferers. Third, the healthtech firm is trying to prolong its presence past seven Nigerian cities to Kenya and Ghana earlier than the top of the yr.
“Our progress has moved from being B2C to an infrastructure play, in some way. We wish to energy digital diagnostics and empower healthcare suppliers to achieve their prospects the place they’re snug,” the chief government mentioned. “It will assist attain extra individuals, save extra lives, and be certain that healthcare is best in Africa.”
The funding will help Healthtracka in its subsequent progress section because it additionally scales its B2B2C providing the place accomplice corporations in Nigeria can ship at-home testing to their staff.
Buyers on this spherical embody Africa-focused early-stage VC Ingressive Capital and U.S.-based enterprise fund Hustle Fund. Angel traders included Alumni Angels Alliance and Flying Docs.
“Ifeoluwa is hungry and really brilliant. Not solely did we anonymously use HealthTracka’s companies in diligence and have a ten/10 expertise, we acknowledged actually what this might turn into throughout the continent, even from simply interacting together with her staff for exams,” mentioned Maya Horgan Famodu, founding father of Ingressive Capital on the elevate. “The product is top of the range, on time, inexpensive, and unlocking the door for a more healthy Africa.”
African well being and biotech raised $392 million in funding in 2021; lower than $2 million was raised by feminine healthtech founders. Healthtracka joins a really temporary record that features the likes of French and Ivorian-based Susu and Nigerian-based Medsaf as one of many few healthtech venture-backed startups with indigenous feminine CEOs to have raised over $1 million in a single spherical.
A standard theme amongst a few of Healthtracka’s traders—Ingressive, Hustle, and Flying Docs, together with FirstCheck Africa, one of many startup’s first backers—is that they’re female-led. Enterprise rounds similar to this are a testomony to the truth that ladies traders are strolling the discuss and collectively bettering entry to capital for girls founders.