Helium Health closes $10m Series A, led by Dubai venture capital fund

The Nigerian startup offers a comprehensive suite of technology solutions, including electronic medical records and telemedicine, as well as administration and financial management.
By Rachel McArthur
02:08 pm
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Credit: Helium Health

The Nigerian startup offers a comprehensive suite of technology solutions, including electronic medical records and telemedicine, as well as administration and financial management.

Helium Health, a leading healthcare technology provider in West Africa, has just secured $10 million in investment from a Series A funding round, co-led by the UAE’s Global Ventures.

The investment round was also co-led by the Africa Healthcare Masterfund (AAIC), along with participation from China’s Tencent; Japan’s Ohara Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd; New York’s HOF Capital; Silicon Valley’s Y Combinator; VentureSouq in Dubai; and Nigeria’s Chrysalis Capital, Kairos Angels, and Flying Doctors Healthcare Investment Company.

TechCrunch reports that Global Ventures will take a Helium Health board seat following the round.

“We are excited to partner with Helium Health as the need for healthcare data and inclusion in emerging markets is exacerbated by the pandemic. Helium Health has the opportunity to solve large problems through its software and help accelerate healthcare accessibility,” said Noor Sweid, general partner at Global Ventures.

WHY IT MATTERS

According to Helium Health’s website, the company is on a mission to spearhead a “connected healthcare ecosystem across Africa that simplifies health access, making it easy for patients to get the care they need when they need it. 

“We are dedicated to empowering all healthcare stakeholders with the actionable data and tools with which they can make informed decisions and transform global health... to make world-class healthcare a reality for the six billion people in emerging markets, and we're determined to deliver this future.”

The startup will use the funding round to grow its current customer base in Nigeria, Ghana, and Liberia, as well as to support expansion into new markets in North and East Africa, and French West Africa this year. Countries are reported to include Morocco, Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda.

“Helium Health is growing its tech products suite beyond its flagship offering, an electronic medical records / hospital management information system (EMR/HMIS),” the startup said in its funding announcement. “Building on its EMR/HMIS product, Helium Health is rolling-out newly developed software products for healthcare stakeholders, providers, payers, patients, public health partners, governments and donor agencies. 

“These new products will help boost operational efficiency, improve revenue generation, expand health financing, monitor public health and improve health outcomes.”

Founded in 2016 by Adegoke Olubusi, Dimeji Sofowora, and Tito Ovia, Helium Health has been successful in highlighting the importance of healthtech in Africa. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it has fast-tracked its telemedicine solution, with around 360 hospitals signing up in the three weeks since launch.

“This is the first time [Africa’s elite] cannot get on their jet and leave, so they have to go to the hospitals we have. The system was neglected for the last few decades because people had that [previous] option,” co-founder and CEO Olubusi said in an interview. “I’m hoping this coronavirus crisis will be a period that forces everyone to rethink what we’re doing [on healthcare].”

ON THE RECORD

“We started out with taking hospitals digital but our vision has always been bigger. We’re building the technology infrastructure to connect a fragmented healthcare sector and power the delivery of quality, affordable, comprehensive care across the continent,” said Olubusi. “The devastating impact of the pandemic is a humbling reminder of how critical responsive and agile health systems are to our collective wellbeing. Only data and technology can produce the required responsiveness and agility to tackle health challenges of this magnitude. It has never been more imperative for Africa to build a modern and digitized healthcare system.”

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