Ilara Health

Ilara Health, a Nairobi-based healthtech startup 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, Selma Ribica and Shakir Merali.

They were joined in the round by Chinese fund ShakaVCChandaria Capital and Villgro Kenya.

The startup which was founded in 2019 by Emilian Popa, Amaan Banwait and Hannes Eckmayr, 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 said 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.

Musa Suleiman
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