Kenyan e-health startup TIBU, a digital platform that decentralises primary outpatient care to bring it directly to patients, has raised a seed funding round to help it scale its operations.
Conceived in 2016, built in 2019, and launched to the public in early 2020, TIBU is an on-demand platform that connects people to healthcare workers in real-time, who deploy to a location and time of the patient’s choosing.
The startup has served over 10,000 patients since its launch, rolled out a comprehensive home-based vaccination service alongside Amref Health Africa, launched health packages focused on chronic diseases, and secured a variety of key partnerships, and it has now taken on a seed funding round to help it grow further.
The funding comes from Blue Haven Initiative and Kepple Africa Ventures, the latter being a returning investor. The investment amount was undisclosed but the round was oversubscribed by 100 per cent.
Jason Carmichael, TIBU’s chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder, told Disrupt Africa the startup had a variety of plans for the cash. These include expanding into tech-driven home-based sample collection market, the establishment of in-house lab capabilities, service expansion into home-based imaging, marketing, and business development. TIBU plans a Series A round in September 2022.
“We are extremely happy to work with such sophisticated investors and partners as Blue Haven Initiative and Kepple Africa Ventures. Their track record of providing tangible, non-monetary support to budding companies is something that we are particularly looking forward to as we expand services in Kenya,” Carmichael said.
“The proceeds from this round will be used to source great local software engineering talent so that we can build a globally competitive back-end that focuses on health service logistics, as well as a front-end platform that will allow for a more streamlined user experience when scheduling our many services.”
TIBU will also be setting up a high-tech micro-laboratory to process its clients’ samples in-house.
“We see building our internal capabilities around logistics and sample collection to be quite important for growth. Essentially, we are laying the groundwork for replicability and scale across markets,” said Carmichael.
Lauren Cochran, managing director of Blue Haven Initiative, said she was excited to be backing an experienced team that is “charting the future of healthcare delivery in Africa”.
“TIBU’s technology connects existing healthcare services with people where they are and want to be, their home. The pandemic stretched healthcare systems thin in even the wealthiest nations, and the need for increased capacity in healthcare service and delivery was already great in Kenya,” she said.
“There’s an opportunity across the continent to distribute services and, like so many other industries, reduce the need for expensive centralised infrastructure. Though some healthcare delivery will of course always happen in a hospital, TIBU’s stellar team and technology are changing how we think about what that will look like in the future.”
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