More Africans now endure from power ailments corresponding to diabetes and hypertension than ever earlier than. A rising inhabitants and life-style modifications, particularly round urbanization and meals habits, are vital elements that contribute to this sharp rise.
This isn’t a difficulty in developed markets, as healthcare techniques change with the occasions to adequately present healthcare when mandatory. But in Africa, that’s not the case, as most individuals would not have entry to high quality healthcare due to the ill-equipped nature of hospitals and lack of insurance.
Healthtech startups across Africa, corresponding to Ivory Coast- and French-based Susu are stepping up to fill this want. And in a bid to proceed offering inexpensive and accessible healthcare for its clients in Ivory Coast, Senegal and Cameroon, the Ivorian startup is being backed with $1 million in pre-seed funding.
The fairness increase noticed participation primarily from angel buyers, as the corporate additionally raised $1.2 million in debt and grant financing from BPI France, the French authorities’s public funding financial institution.
“My father died in 2017 after he had a heart issue in Benin and could not be saved. The health issue was a complication from his hypertension that was poorly managed,” Bardet advised TechCrunch over a name. “At that moment, I was finishing my MBA at HEC Paris and the goal I set for myself was to try to prevent that happening to other people, maybe that will be something good that I can do in my life.” So that’s how the story began.”
Having labored in a luxurious agency, as an funding banker at JP Morgan and her personal consulting agency, Bardet determined to begin Susu in 2019.
Susu affords care packages or bundles to sufferers affected by power ailments like diabetes and hypertension and pregnant girls who require cautious administration to guarantee their situations are monitored and get the preventative recommendation to reside the easiest way with their situations.
According to just a few stories, the medical insurance penetration fee is lower than 3% in Africa. While insurtech incumbents and upstarts corresponding to CarePay and Reliance Health strive to make insurance available for the remainder of the market by way of partnerships with firms or by enabling weekly to month-to-month subscription expenses, customers are nonetheless required most occasions to pay out of pocket.
That’s the place Susu tends to be totally different. In addition to permitting sufferers to finance their payments, Susu proposes a collective financing answer the place members of the family dwelling regionally or within the diaspora also can assist sufferers finance their month-to-month subscription charges by way of care bundles. Care bundles are mainly medical calendars composed of physician consultations, nurse visits, medical recommendation despatched by SMS and a mix of different medical actions for sufferers.
“A survey we carried out proved that family members are used to helping and supporting sick family relatives, and they are willing to do so. So it’s something that is already done today, let’s say informally in our countries,” mentioned the chief govt on the corporate’s technique to permit members of the family of sufferers to pay for the healthcare of their family members. “So these are the possibilities that are offered and we are today contemplating the possibility of having NGOs or government-funded programs contribute to the bundles, but it’s long term.”
With this mannequin, Susu faces contemporary competitors from firms like Techstars-backed Fleri. The U.S.-based firm permits immigrants to ship cash instantly to companies their households want again house. However, Susu’s strategy is fairly distinctive, Bardet says. According to her, the corporate targets solely insurance, not a bunch of companies, and gives a monetary escape for many who can’t afford it.
The product appears to have resonated effectively with its 5,000-strong buyer base, which grew 5x final yr. Revenue additionally elevated greater than 400% in 2021, the corporate mentioned.
“I have been following Susu since the beginning of the project. And I see its huge potential, focused on building a solution to provide access to affordable healthcare in Africa through technology,” mentioned Christopher Neves, considered one of Susu’s angel buyers who has a number of years of expertise working with multinational insurance firms.
Susu intends to develop its workforce and introduce new options with its latest funding. Bardet additionally mentioned the corporate would launch its companies across six extra international locations in sub-Saharan Africa, together with Nigeria and Ghana.