helium_health

Editor’s Note: On the 5th of May, based on an investor’s interview with Reuters, we originally reported that Helium Health had raised $7 million in investment. We have now updated this story to reflect that the complete raise was in fact $10 million from a Series A round according to new reports. 

Helium Health, a Nigerian electronic medical records company, has secured $10 million in investment from a Series A funding round. 

It was co-led by Global Ventures, a Dubai-based venture capital fund, and Africa Healthcare Masterfund, a fund managed by the Asia Africa Investment & Consulting (AAIC). Tencent, the Chinese owner of WeChat, also participated in the round, as well as two African firms: Flying Doctors Healthcare Investment Company, and Chrysalis Capital.

Founded in 2014 by Adegoke Olubusi, Tito Ovia and Dimeji Sofowora, Helium Health has emerged as one of the companies highlighting the role technology can play in adequate healthcare records management in Africa.

Helium bills its technology as a smart all-in-one electronic enterprise manager that handles doctor’s visits, prescriptions, and medical billing. Their mission is to enable providers to control the bulk of the healthcare management value chain, from support systems for clinical decision-making and telemedicine, to administration and financial management.

Due to physical restrictions on mobility posed by the coronavirus pandemic, health tech has come to the fore of investors’ attention. 

In the fight against the coronavirus, healthtech companies have increased their visibility with a range of solutions aimed at either curbing spread, increasing access to testing or providing other complimentary services. 

At the early stages of the coronavirus spread in March, Helium rolled out a telemedicine feature on its platform to allow hospitals to speak virtually to patients, thereby reducing the need for physical contact. 

The company says about 360 hospitals have signed up to use their services within the first three weeks after it launched. With the funding, it plans to hire staff and expand operations to Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Morocco.

Other health tech companies have been active in different ways too 54Gene, the biotech startup, has launched two mobile laboratories to boost Nigeria’s capacity to test and diagnose COVID-19. 

A recent funding round announced in April is geared towards putting it in great shape to scale its DNA biobank in Lagos, providing resources for academic research collaboration and drug development on the continent.

LifeBank, another Nigerian health company backed by the AAIC, has provided drive-through mobile testing sites.

Helium represents the first investment into health for Global Ventures. Noor Sweid, the firm’s managing partner, says they are excited about the opportunities in health tech, tipping the sector to be as in-demand over the next five years as fintech has been in the recent past.

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