Ghanaian consumer health-tech startup, Berry Health, has secured $1.6 million in funding to democratize healthcare and tackle health-related stigma in Africa. The investment, co-led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and General Catalyst, aims to address the pressing issue of limited access to essential healthcare services on the continent. Berry Health plans to initially focus on mental health, sexual health, and dermatology, offering remote consultations and treatment options through its innovative health tech platform.
The round of funding boasts an impressive lineup of angel investors, including Reddit COO, Jen Wong, co-founders of Thirty Madison, Demetri Karagas and Steven Gutentag, New York tech lawyer and venture capitalist, Ed and Betsy Zimmerman, and former US Surgeon General from 2009 to 2013, Dr. Regina Benjamin. These investors recognize the urgent need to bridge the healthcare gap in Africa, where the ratio of doctors to patients stands at a staggering one to ten thousand. Disturbingly, the region also grapples with the highest rate of clinically diagnosed depression and suicide globally, as reported by the World Health Organization. Additionally, Africa bears the second-highest incidence of sexually transmitted infections and faces a rapidly increasing burden of chronic diseases. The demand for comprehensive health services cannot be overstated.
Berry Health aims to utilize the funds to further develop and expand its cutting-edge health tech platform, effectively dismantling the social stigma surrounding sexual and mental health in Africa. By providing judgment-free services, the startup seeks to revolutionize healthcare in the region. Leveraging the power of technology, Berry Health aims to overcome barriers that prevent individuals from seeking essential care.
Paul Murphy, Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, one of the lead investors, commented on the round, saying, "Lightspeed understands what it takes to build a successful technology-based healthcare business in various markets around the world. Our experience and longstanding relationship with Fredua, coupled with his unique insights on the gaps that exist for patients across sub-Saharan Africa, made us extremely excited to partner with Berry Health. We can't wait for Fredua and the team to bring access to world-class healthcare to patients in Africa."
More About Berry Health
Berry Health, founded only a few months ago, is a Ghanaian startup that envisions a healthcare revolution by tackling the prevalent stigma surrounding sexual and mental health in Africa. Led by Dr. Fredua Akosa, a British-Ghanaian medical doctor, public health expert, former venture capitalist, and the CEO of Berry Health, the team includes seasoned professionals from various domains. Lusiana Castiglione, former WPP executive, serves as the VP of Marketing, while Gaurav Kumar, previously associated with Instacart, takes charge as the VP of Product Management. Daniel Harvey, an accomplished designer formerly at Babylon Health, leads the team as the Director of Design. Supported by an expert clinical team, Berry Health was inspired to establish its innovative platform after witnessing a significant surge in mental health conditions and stigmatized healthcare during the pandemic.
The platform offered by Berry Health introduces remote diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of conditions. Users can now consult licensed medical doctors and clinical psychologists online, receiving personalized treatment plans tailored to their specific needs. Furthermore, the convenience of medication delivery to their doorstep eliminates the need for in-person visits and associated stigmatization. Berry Health's services encompass anxiety, depression, sexual health issues, dermatology, and hair loss, providing comprehensive care to individuals in need.
Operating on a subscription-based model, Berry Health plans to offer its services at an affordable rate of 299GH ($26) per year. This approach aims to provide an accessible option compared to traditional healthcare fees in Ghana. Additionally, the startup ensures affordability by charging only $5 per session for consultations with clinicians. By implementing this pricing structure, Berry Health seeks to break down financial barriers and make seeking care more accessible to all. The executive team at Berry Health comprises professionals with diverse backgrounds, boasting experiences from renowned companies such as WPP, Instacart, and Babylon Health. To ensure the highest level of medical expertise, the startup has established a medical advisory board consisting of gynecologists, dermatologists, and various other specialists.
With an imminent emergence from stealth mode anticipated at the end of the following month, Berry Health aims to initially serve customers primarily in Ghana. However, the ambitions of this groundbreaking startup extend far beyond borders. Berry Health aspires to make a significant impact on healthcare throughout the African continent, bridging the gap and empowering individuals to prioritize their well-being.