Has African Heathtech and Healthcare Entered The Mainstream? [Video]

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In the nascent, imbalanced, and yet potentially utopic African tech startup ecosystem, the sectors that chunk up the lion share of the venture capital being increasingly injected are mostly the ones that have been around for quite a while: fintech, eCommerce, and agritech. As of 2019, this trio formed the conformist markets VCs were
willing to bet on.


Into the unprecedented pandemic year of 2020 and out, the pulse rate of another tech-enabled sector has been quickened. Apparently, the novel coronavirus had an overarching role in accelerating the adoption of telemedical channels in Africa, and that’s a trend both global and local funders have become more than willing to fund. This is an encouraging beep on the African healthcare monitor, especially considering that the continent—very much unlike others of the world—has a lower doctor-to-patient ratio. Moreover, government-enabled or publicly-funded health systems have proven unfit, insufficient, and, more worryingly, expensive—not to mention deficient—in serving the continent’s rapidly expanding populace.


Nevertheless, of all said mainstream tech startup sectors, healthtech is the least funded. While the average single fintech, agritech or eCom deal can produce USD 1 Mn (or more) in seed, cumulative yearly VC funding for innovation-driven health firms is south of USD 100 Mn, in these parts. While the capital pool continues to expand for healthtech startups, the ticket sizes are yet to measure up with those of its established
counterparts.


In the fourth episode of Africa Tomorrow, join Hiroki Ishida, Director at Asia Africa Investment and Consulting (AAIC) Partners’ African division—the subsidiary that manages the “Africa Healthcare Fund” that invests in healthtech firms—and Tolagbe Soleye Martins, Head of Public Sector Growth at Series A-stage Helium Health, to examine the growth symptoms and potential outcomes that comprise the anatomy of the African healthcare system.


In this episode of our inclusive video series, we retrospectively and prognostically discuss the continent’s health systems, its e-health innovations, and the “affiliated” capital markets.

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