Cameroonian e-health startup Healthlane raises $2.4m funding

Disrupt Africa | Cameroonian e-health startup Healthlane, which connects users with quality and affordable healthcare services, has raised US$2.4 million in funding to expand its user base and add new features.

Founded early this year by Alain Nteff, Healthlane allows users to book appointments with more than healthcare providers across Cameroon and Nigeria via its mobile app. Its user base has already grown to more than 60,000.

The startup, which took part in the Y Combinator W20 batch earlier this year, now plans to expand that user base and add new features after raising US$2.4 million in funding from a host of investors. Those backing Healthlane in this round include Sequoia Capital, Digital Horizon, Silicon Valley Bank, TSVC, Supernode Ventures, CRE, Capitoria, and several early investors including leading Chinese healthtech company Ping An Good Doctor.

Healthlane will use the funding to continue to build out its ecosystem of medical services based on existing offline infrastructure. It also plans to add new features to its app, such as telemedicine and medicine ordering.

“Unlike many startups that rely only on telemedicine, Healthlane’s solution combines remote and face-to-face health services. Furthermore, the service’s customers become not only users but also doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, and other market participants. In the future, this all-in-one approach will enable the company to expand the list of services by adding, for example, insurance products,” Alan Vaksman, founder and managing partner of Digital Horizon said.

“In this, the company’s model is similar to the Chinese platform Ping An Good Doctor, whose audience over several years of operation amounted to 315 million people, with its capitalisation on the stock exchange growing to US$15 billion. I am confident that Africa needs such projects, so we will continue to monitor the development of the local digital healthcare sector and will keep looking for exciting opportunities.”

It is another big win for the African e-health space, which is booming in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than half of all funding to have gone into the sector in the past five years was transacted in the first half of 2020, according to the High Tech Health: Exploring the African E-health Startup Ecosystem Report 2020 released by Disrupt Africa in June.

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