February 15, 2024

Women-Led African Healthtech Companies Raised A Historic $52M Last Year

Women-led healthtech companies in Africa secured $52 million in funding in 2023, compared to just $2 million the year before, a report has found.

The report by Salient Advisory shows findings on investment activity covering grant, equity, and debt investment for African healthtech startups in 2023.

A Surge In Funding For Women-Founded Companies

According to the 2023 Roundup Investments in African Healthtech report, gender financing gaps in African healthtech ecosystems narrowed in 2023.

In 2022, women-founded companies received a mere $2 million, just 1.4% of all investment, but the following year saw a surge in both the number and size of deals.

The number of deals for women-led companies increased from 26 in 2022 to 33 in 2023.

Women-founded companies also received 31% of all investments, a more than 2,000% increase from the previous year.

Additionally, mixed-gender founding teams saw their funding share grow from 10% to 21%.

“The key driver in the overall increase was the fact that we saw large funding rounds for a number of women-founded companies, including Kasha’s $21 million round, which is the largest by a woman-founded company in African healthtech,” Yomi Kazeem, Engagement Manager at Salient Advisory told Forbes Africa.

“Alongside Kasha (Kenya), Dawi Clinics (Egypt), Maisha Meds (Kenya) and Chefaa (Egypt), collectively accounted for 75% of the total funding raised by women founders in 2023.”

Equity, Grant, And Debt Funding

Despite a 2% year-on-year decline in overall investments, the broader African health tech sector demonstrated resilience by raising $167 million in equity, grant, and debt funding. 

It was also a much smaller decline than the 39% in annual funding reported for the broader African tech ecosystems in 2023.

Equity investments dominated, comprising 91% of total investments, and merger and acquisition activity doubled compared to 2022, signaling a growing investor appetite for African health tech.

Overall, the funding activity across African healthtech ecosystems increased, with the number of deals rising by 17% to a total of 145.

“We expect to continue to see a large number of grant deals for healthtech companies, especially as grant-based programs like Investing in Innovation, which has an annual cohort size of 30 healthtech companies, deepens the important work they are doing across African healthtech ecosystems,” said Zillah Waminaje, Consultant at Salient Advisory.

Online Pharmacies See Surge In Funding

Investment trends also revealed a focus on online pharmacy solutions, predominantly driven by Series B funding rounds., with 38% receiving all of the funding raised.

The funding rounds were driven by three Series B rounds for Kenya-based Kasha, MYDAWA, and Egypt-based Yodawy.

Lastly, Nigeria, Kenya, and Egypt emerged as investment hotspots, while Francophone Africa experienced a modest rise in funding activity.

Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.