Ivorian Healthtech Susu closes US$1M pre-seed round to Boost Insurance in Africa

IVORY COAST – Ivorian health startup Susu has closed a US$1 million pre-seed round to scale its family-centric insurance product across Africa.

The equity raise saw participation mainly from angel investors, as the company also raised US$1.2 million in debt and grant financing from BPI France, a French public investment bank.

The funds will be used to continue offering inexpensive and available healthcare to its consumers in Ivory Coast, Senegal, and Cameroon.

The startup intends to launch the service in 6 new countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, including Nigeria and Ghana.

It is also developing new care bundles including a maternity care bundle to reduce mortality risk for pregnant women and their babies.

The funding comes at a time when there is a scarcity of quality healthcare in Africa due to the lack of insurance or ill-equipped hospitals.

Africa has been plagued by inefficiency in terms of obtaining medicine, giving treatment, and delivering inhabitants with an appropriate level of professional services.

Studies show that the medical insurance penetration rate is less than 3% in Africa, leaving 97% of the population having to pay medical expenses out of pocket.

Susu intends to mitigate this problem by supporting beneficiaries’ healthcare journeys through care bundles while using an integrated approach to better connect the patients, their families, and healthcare professionals.

The startup proposes a community financing option in which family members either locally or in the diaspora can assist patients to pay their monthly subscription costs.

In addition, it provides care packages, which are medical calendars that include doctor appointments, nurse visits, SMS medical advice, and a variety of other medical activities for patients.

The product appears to have struck a chord with the company’s 5,000-strong user base, which increased by 5 times last year.

Despite limited infrastructure, the number of mobile phone users in Africa is fast increasing, and apps that allow remote access to medical information and diagnosis are springing up all across the continent.

These platforms assist hospital staff in reducing the burden and concentrating on patients with urgent needs.

Advancements in telemedicine, drones, big data analytics, wearables, and data management have opened the door to the prospect of effective, cost-efficient solutions that could enhance overall health outcomes.

African health-tech entrepreneurs have shown a remarkable ability to maximize the resources available to them, Susu is an example of this.

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