Global Markets

Ilara Health Secures $4.2M to Digitize Primary Healthcare in Africa

Ilara Health, a healthtech company that is revolutionizing primary care in Kenya, has announced the successful completion of a $4.2M pre-series A funding round, consisting of both equity and debt investments. The round was led by DOB Equity, with additional equity investments from AAIC INVESTMENT, Angaza Capital, Black Pearl Investments, Perivoli Innovations, and debt investments from Alphamundi and Kiva Capital. Joining the round as new partners are Philips Foundation and Boehringer Ingelheim, both renowned healthcare investors with extensive experience in the industry.

With this new capital injection, Ilara Health plans to expand its tech-enabled primary care model across Kenya and eventually into other regions. This funding brings the company’s total investment to $11.7M, including previous funding rounds such as a $3.75M seed round in 2020 and grants totaling $1.6M from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Founded in 2019 by Emilian Popa, Maximilian Mancini, and Sameer Afzal Farooqi, Ilara Health initially focused on bridging the gap in diagnostics for primary healthcare centers in peri-urban areas of Kenya. By providing revenue-generating diagnostic assets, flexible repayment plans, and training, the company empowered clinics to expand their services and improve patient care. Over time, Ilara Health has evolved to digitize and optimize the entire healthcare operations, utilizing data to enhance its business model. This includes offering electronic patient management systems and serving as a comprehensive provider of diagnostic tools, consumables, and pharmaceuticals for clinics.

Ilara health

Ilara Health’s investment will play a crucial role in driving the company’s focus for the next 12 months. The primary objectives during this period are to achieve significant growth in revenue, expand the network of partner clinics, and incorporate the next phase of growth into the business model. This includes the introduction of employee health services through B2B health and occupational services, initially in select locations and later expanding throughout the country. These initiatives aim to strengthen the Ilara Health brand and demonstrate revenue growth, ultimately leading to profitability.

In addition to these goals, Ilara Health plans to enhance operational efficiencies and secure funding through a combination of equity and debt. This funding will support the working capital investments necessary to fuel the company’s growth ambitions. Furthermore, Ilara Health recognizes the importance of technology and intends to make a substantial investment in its proprietary Practice Management Software (PMS). This software will provide valuable data-driven insights, showcasing the long-term potential of the business model.

The utilization of live data from the PMS will enable Ilara Health to analyze the performance of primary care providers. This analysis will facilitate the provision of follow-on asset lending and working capital, ranging from $10,000 to $15,000. These funds will be allocated towards clinic rejuvenations, staff training, provision of diagnostic equipment, and the opportunity for co-branding with the “powered by Ilara Health” label. Currently, eight clinics benefit from these follow-on investments and co-branding, with plans to expand to 50 clinics by the end of the year.

Emilian Popa, CEO and Co-founder of Ilara Health, emphasizes the company’s commitment to improving healthcare quality in Africa. The core vision of making healthcare affordable and accessible to all remains at the forefront of Ilara Health’s mission. The company is excited to welcome prominent global investors who share this vision, as they believe there is still much work to be done in Kenya and across the entire African continent.

This fundraising initiative will contribute to our ongoing expansion, as we strive to enhance the provision of standardized, high-quality healthcare services across the continent. In Kenya alone, there are approximately 10,000 privately owned primary care facilities and an additional 7,000 publicly owned ones. Ilara Health has already made significant progress by partnering with over 3,000 of these clinics, benefiting 42 Kenyan counties and serving more than 5 million patients annually.

Margot Cooijmans, the Director of Philips Foundation Impact Investments, stated that supporting Ilara Health aligns with the foundation’s mission to improve healthcare access through innovation. Their investment in Ilara Health is a practical step towards bridging the healthcare gap, focusing on solutions that can be implemented in communities with the greatest need.

Bahaa Eddine Sarroukh, the Impact Investment Lead at Philips Foundation, emphasized that Ilara Health represents a major advancement in healthcare innovation. By combining technology and finance, Ilara Health empowers grassroots healthcare providers with the necessary tools and financial models to thrive. This unique approach not only improves access to quality healthcare but also sets a new standard for healthcare delivery across Africa.

Hayo Afman, the Managing Director at DOB Equity, expressed enthusiasm for the progress and positive impact on patient outcomes achieved by Ilara Health. As long-time supporters of Ilara Health and its founders, DOB Equity looks forward to collaborating with new partners to redefine the standard of medical care in Africa.

Hiroki Ishida, Director at AAIC Partners Africa, expressed his admiration for Ilara Health’s approach to decentralizing financing for primary care clinics. He acknowledged the difficulties in developing a business model in the primary care sector but recognized its importance as the foundation of the healthcare industry. As a healthcare-focused fund in Africa, Ishida expressed confidence in Ilara Health’s team and their potential to be innovators in the continent. Ilara Health aims to utilize its innovative tech infrastructure to address the significant financing gap and outdated processes that hinder healthcare delivery throughout Africa.

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