Startups & Ideas

Kenya’s Ilara Health Secures $4.2M in New Funding Round

Ilara Health, a health-tech company based in Kenya, recently said it has successfully secured a $4.2 million funding round they’re calling “pre-Series A” round. This, the company says, marks a significant milestone in its mission to digitise and consolidate the highly fragmented primary healthcare sector in Kenya and beyond. This round was led by DOB Equity, with notable follow-on equity investments from AAIC INVESTMENT, Angaza Capital, Black Pearl Investments, Perivoli Innovations, and new strategic investments from the Philips Foundation and Boehringer Ingelheim. Debt investments were also received from Alphamundi and Kiva Capital, bolstering the financial resources available to Ilara Health for its expansion.

With this latest influx of capital, Ilara Health’s total funding to date has reached an impressive $11.7 million. This includes a $3.75 million seed round in 2020 (which was then reported as Series A Funding) and multiple grants, such as two grants totalling $1.6 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Founded in 2019 by Emilian Popa, Maximilian Mancini, and Sameer Afzal Farooqi, Ilara Health has embarked on a journey to deliver affordable, accessible, and quality healthcare across Kenya, focusing on peri-urban areas initially.

The company started by addressing a critical gap in diagnostics within primary healthcare centers due to disparities in availability and quality of testing. Ilara Health introduced revenue-generating diagnostic assets that enabled clinics to scale their operations instantly. Additionally, the company provided flexible repayment plans and the necessary training for patient testing. Ilara Health has since evolved, digitizing entire end-to-end operations and leveraging data to enhance its business model, thus becoming a one-stop-shop for clinics in need of diagnostic tools, consumables, and pharmaceuticals.

The investment will fuel Ilara Health’s ambitious plan for the next 12 months, aiming for significant topline growth, expanding its network of partner clinics, and incorporating new growth phases, including the launch of employee health services through B2B health & occupational services. Initially available in select locations, these services will eventually be rolled out across the country. This expansion is expected to strengthen the Ilara Health branded clinics and achieve revenue growth, setting the company on a path to profitability.

Emilian Popa, CEO and Co-founder of Ilara Health, expressed his enthusiasm for the future, stating, “Ilara Health came about by one common goal; to improve the quality of healthcare for Africans. We passionately believe healthcare should be affordable and accessible to all and I’m therefore proud of the measurable impact we have achieved in such a short space of time. There’s still so much more to be done, which is why we are thrilled to be joined by prominent global investors who share our core vision for Kenya and ultimately all of Africa.”

The company plans to make significant investments in technology and its proprietary Practice Management Software (PMS) to unlock the long-term data-driven potential of its business model. Live data from the PMS will enable Ilara Health to analyze the performance of primary care providers, offering follow-on asset lending and working capital for clinic enhancements and staff training. Currently, eight clinics are covered by these investments and co-branding, with plans to expand to 50 by the end of the year.

With a footprint in over 42 Kenyan counties, partnering with more than 3,000 clinics and serving over 5 million patients each year, Ilara Health is set to redefine the standard of medical care in Africa. This round of funding not only underscores the confidence of global investors in Ilara Health’s vision and model but also highlights the potential for technology-driven solutions to bridge the healthcare gap in Africa.

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