Extra Africans now endure from persistent ailments reminiscent of diabetes and hypertension than ever earlier than. A rising inhabitants and way of life adjustments, particularly round urbanization and meals habits, are important 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. However in Africa, that’s not the case, as most individuals wouldn’t have entry to high quality healthcare because of the ill-equipped nature of hospitals and lack of insurance coverage.
Healthtech startups throughout Africa, reminiscent of Ivory Coast- and French-based Susu are stepping as much as fill this want. And in a bid to proceed offering reasonably priced 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 coronary heart difficulty in Benin and couldn’t be saved. The well being difficulty was a complication from his hypertension that was poorly managed,” Bardet informed TechCrunch over a name. “At that second, I used to be ending my MBA at HEC Paris and the objective I set for myself was to attempt to forestall that taking place to different folks, perhaps that can be one thing good that I can do in my life.” In order 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 gives care packages or bundles to sufferers affected by persistent ailments like diabetes and hypertension and pregnant girls who require cautious administration to make sure their circumstances are monitored and get the preventative recommendation to dwell one of the best ways with their circumstances.
In accordance to some studies, the medical insurance coverage penetration fee is lower than 3% in Africa. Whereas insurtech incumbents and upstarts reminiscent of CarePay and Reliance Well being attempt to make insurance coverage available for the remainder of the market by way of partnerships with corporations or by enabling weekly to month-to-month subscription prices, customers are nonetheless required most occasions to pay out of pocket.
That’s the place Susu tends to be totally different. Along with permitting sufferers to finance their payments, Susu proposes a collective financing resolution the place members of the family residing regionally or within the diaspora can even assist sufferers finance their month-to-month subscription charges by way of care bundles. Care bundles are principally medical calendars composed of physician consultations, nurse visits, medical recommendation despatched by SMS and a mixture of different medical actions for sufferers.
“A survey we carried out proved that members of the family are used to serving to and supporting sick household family members, and they’re prepared to take action. So it’s one thing that’s already completed in the present day, let’s say informally in our nations,” stated the chief government 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 chances which are supplied and we’re in the present day considering the potential for having NGOs or government-funded applications contribute to the bundles, nevertheless it’s long run.”
With this mannequin, Susu faces recent competitors from corporations like Techstars-backed Fleri. The U.S.-based firm permits immigrants to ship cash on to providers their households want again residence. Nonetheless, Susu’s strategy is fairly distinctive, Bardet says. In accordance with her, the corporate targets solely insurance coverage, not a bunch of providers, and supplies a monetary escape for many who can’t afford it.
The product appears to have resonated properly with its 5,000-strong buyer base, which grew 5x final 12 months. Income additionally elevated greater than 400% in 2021, the corporate stated.
“I’ve been following Susu because the starting of the mission. And I see its large potential, centered on constructing an answer to offer entry to reasonably priced healthcare in Africa by means of know-how,” stated Christopher Neves, one in all Susu’s angel buyers who has a number of years of expertise working with multinational insurance coverage corporations.
Susu intends to develop its crew and introduce new options with its latest funding. Bardet additionally stated the corporate would launch its providers throughout six extra nations in sub-Saharan Africa, together with Nigeria and Ghana.