Nairobi-based affordable diagnostics startup Ilara Health has raised $735,000 from seasoned investors including ShakaVC, a Nairobi-based firm backed by Chinese investors. Other investors included Chandaria Capital, the venture capital arm Chandaria Industries and Villgro Kenya.
Ilara Health intends to use the new funding to onboard new users, and build a robust tech platform to manage and protect its patient health and clinic financial data.
“Seventy percent of patients need some form of medical test to inform their treatment, but many doctors across Africa 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.” Emilian Popa, Co-founder and CEO at Ilara Health said in a statement.
Ilara Health provides a route to market for new tech-powered diagnostics and medical equipment to reach doctors who need them, supporting the rapid adoption of innovative technologies such as portable ultrasound and blood diagnostics for diabetes.
According to to Larry Liu, Partner at ShakaVC: “More than half a billion people across Africa today struggle to access or afford even a simple blood test. Ilara is addressing this problem by distributing vastly more affordable tech-powered diagnostic equipment to primary-care doctors at the front line of healthcare. We are delighted to be part of their journey.”
Angel investors in this round include Esther Dyson (23andMe, Yandex, Meetup), Nijhad Jamal (Moja Capital, ex BlackRock, Acumen), Aadil Mamujee (Musha Ventures), Selma Ribica (AfricInvest, Lebara Money, M-Pesa), and Shakir Merali (LGT Impact, ex Abraaj). Several of the new investors will become strategic advisors to the business.