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Healthtech startup – Susu – raises $1 million to scale its collaborative health insurance scheme

2 Mins read

Startups in Africa have been working hard at creating innovative products that are targeted at shaping the continent. A long list of startups have been putting in the necessary works, as well as bringing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the continent.

Although, it might seem like majority of investments have been going into sectors like Fintech and Edtech, sectors like Insurtech, Prop-tech and Healthtech, have also not been left out.

Susu is one of the startups in the Healthtech sector. The startup recently raised $1 million in pre-seed funding round from the French government’s public investment bank, BPI France, and a number of angel investors.

Susu plans to use the funds to scale its offerings to its customers, and provide them with affordable and accessible healthcare.

The startup also plans to expand its team, develop new products, and expand its operations into six sub-Saharan African countries, including Nigeria, and Ghana.

A recent study carried out reveals that only about 3% of Africans have access to medical insurance, while the remaining number are left behind to pay (huge) money to hospitals for healthcare provision.

Susu, which is an Ivorian Healthtech startup founded about 3 years ago, plans to increased the number of Africans with access to quality health insurance.

Currently, Susu operates out of Senegal, Cameroon, and Cote D’Ivoire, and provides healthcare packages to patients suffering from chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension, and at-risk pregnant women who require careful monitoring.

Susu was founded in 2019 by Bola Bardet, Laurent Leconte, and Sandrine Egron. The startup was created out of an idea that was inspired by Bola Bardet losing her father to complications from a chronic health condition due to poor management.

I suffered the terrible loss of my dad due to the mismanagement of his medical condition. I knew that the situation could have been prevented if he had access to comprehensive healthcare and that’s why I started Susu, to provide access to quality and affordable healthcare to others. We should not be fatalist about access to quality healthcare in Africa. Like financial inclusion is being improved with mobile payment solutions, technology is going to play a tremendous role over the next decade in providing solutions to tackle the challenges faced by the healthcare systems over the continent,” Bola said.

Read also: M-Kopa raises US$75 million in equity funding; plans further African expansion

While other players in the Healthtech sector either partner with bigger health insurance provides, or have their customers finance their insurance package, Susu is making it possible for family members to collaborate in financing the healthcare need of a patient.

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. 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,” CEO, Bola Bardet said.

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