Helium Health Secures $30M With Backing From 23andMe CEO, AXA
Digitizing Healthcare Across Africa
The company’s suite of digital solutions includes electronic medical records, hospital management systems, insurance and billing software, and analytics tools.
The company currently operates in eight countries (Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Liberia, Kenya, Uganda, Qatar, and the UAE).
In 2020, Helium Health secured a $10 million Series A funding and subsequently acquired Meddy, a doctor-booking platform based in Qatar and the UAE. This rare deal brought together Africa and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
The Series B funding round, led by AXA Investment Managers Alts, is the second-largest series B round for any African health tech company. Capria Ventures, Angaza Capital, Anne Wojcicki (co-founder and CEO of 23&Me) and Flatworld Partners. Existing investors Global Ventures, Tencent, Ohara Pharmaceuticals, LCY Group, WTI and AAIC also participated in the round.
“We believe in a future where good healthcare is a reality for all Africans, not just the few.”
Helium Health shared that it plans to scale electronic medical records platform (HeliumOS), its doctor-booking platform (HeliumDoc), and expand its fintech offering (Helium Credit).
Addressing Africa’s Healthcare Financing Deficits
The company reports that Africa’s healthcare sector has a financing deficit of $66 billion per year, resulting in underdeveloped infrastructure and a shortage of health workers.
“In the process of covering the full breadth of health facilities with our HeliumOS product, one of the deep challenges we found out was around healthcare financing deficits on the continent,” co-founder Dimeji Sofowora told TechCrunch.
“There are many healthcare facilities making money and are profitable but cannot access financing in Nigeria and most Sub-Saharan African countries because banks don’t have insights into how these hospitals operate.”
“HeliumCredit is us essentially leveraging our end-to-end software product and providing a digital financing solution where our customers can apply for financing and get responses in under 48 hours.”
Olubusi also told TechCrunch that repayment rates remain high.
“As they access long-term loans while we provide them with financial training and tools, they have a stronger incentive to want to digitize because part of the reason they haven’t been lent to historically because of the lack of a digital system which we now provide.”
To date, HeliumCredit has extended over $3.5 million in credit to more than 200 healthcare facilities in Nigeria, with plans to expand to Kenya this year.
Creating integrated public health systems
In addition to digitizing healthcare and providing financial solutions, Helium Health seeks to deepen its collaborations within the public health and global health communities. By leveraging technology, the company aims to create interconnected health information systems, integrating public health programs.
Helium Health has received funding from organizations like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and MSD for Mothers to support its projects in maternal health but it recent $30 million Series B funding marks a significant milestone for the company.
“We believe in a future where good healthcare is a reality for all Africans, not just the few,” said Olubusi. “We are deeply committed to supporting both private healthcare providers and public health stakeholders with finance, technology, and data to achieve that vision. We are delighted to have such seasoned healthcare investors accompany us on our journey.”