South African e-health market RecoMed raised a $ 1.5 million funding round, the company confirmed to TechCrunch.
Round was led by Vunani Fintech Fund, a venture capital firm focused on South Africa. RecoMed says the company has invested $ 1 million; the rest share between existing investors, the Japanese but Africa-focused venture capital firm AAIC, Growth Grid Venture Capital Partners and Kenya-based Push Ventures.
The company was founded by Sheraan Amod, who, after a brief stint in the United States to launch her first tech company, experienced for the first time what it was like to make medical appointments online, which was not the case in her country of origin, South Africa.
Amod sensed an opportunity to fill this need and returned to South Africa to build RecoMed – the company he calls “booking.com for healthcare”.
RecoMed acts as a marketplace where patients can find and book services with healthcare professionals across South Africa.
Patients can search and browse practitioner profiles, view reviews, and then book a physical or virtual telehealth appointment from the website or app.
According to the company, healthcare professionals, businesses and insurers use the platform differently.
Practitioners adopt the RecoMed platform as a stand-alone platform or through integration with their external practice management system (PNS), software used to manage medical and healthcare practices.
For businesses, RecoMed is white label to allow reservation and telehealth functionality for patient client groups.
Health insurers such as Discovery have adopted RecoMed to fuel digital healthcare bookings at physicians, clinics and other healthcare professionals for their members, the company said.
RecoMed’s platform helps improve access and delivery of healthcare for patients by reducing the time it would typically take to book the service they need.
RecoMed’s business model is to collect transactional fees “per reservation” from healthcare providers for all reservations generated through the platform. The aggregate market increases the booking flow from patients to RecoMed’s healthcare provider customers.
RecoMed, launched in 2013, has not raised more than $ 3 million but claims to be the largest and fastest growing healthcare reservation in South Africa. The startup says it powers more than 200,000 bookings per month, which has increased 700% in 18 months.
The platform is one of the first to adopt telehealth in Africa, launched years before the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the need for such platforms became more evident.
While RecoMed has not raised the kind of dramatic investments seen by its counterparts in other parts of the world, the company has benefited commercially, positioning itself to help large companies perform vaccinations across the world. ‘South Africa.
Some of these companies include Discovery Health and Mediclinic. They made more than 550,000 reservations via RecoMed since last year.
“We facilitate more than R250m [$16m] health expenditure annually. Whether a patient is looking for a convenient medical appointment or the COVID-19 vaccine, we make it simple and easy to do, ”Amod said in a statement.
The pandemic has also resulted in a net increase in the use of RecoMed, the CEO said. The company’s turnover has more than doubled since March of this year, he adds.
According to other measurements, more than 2,500 healthcare providers contracted on RecoMed and more than one million clients use the platform each year.
RecoMed plans to use this funding to add new integrated products to its platform in 2022. Some include integrated online medical payments and an online pharmacy for the delivery of prescription drugs to consumers across the country.
Besides new product versions, RecoMed is also targeting further geographic expansion, with the company’s launch in Kenya in January 2022.
Healthtech faces unique challenges around infrastructure in Africa. Market forces and the patchwork of systems used in healthcare locally have made the design of local technological health solutions to African problems essential.
Amod believes the go-to-market approach for large-scale solutions in healthcare technology should involve a strong B2B2C element, using key partnerships with insurers, banks and telecommunications companies to reach an audience. of mass consumers – essentially what RecoMed does.
“The future of healthcare innovation is an exciting space for Africa as we continue to provide the global market with a scalable solution at low cost and, where appropriate, with low bandwidth, which makes no difference. has never been the case. been done nowhere else in the world, ”he said.
Lead investor Vunani Fintech Fund, optimistic about the approach proposed by RecoMed to meet the identified needs of the market in South Africa, said via its director Mark Anderson:. We are convinced that this latest fundraising will make a major contribution to promoting greater efficiency in the health ecosystem that will benefit all stakeholders. “