Nigerian Healttech startup, MDaaS Global has raised $2.3 million in a seed extension round led by Newtown Partners via the Imperial Venture Fund, with participation from CRI Foundation, FINCA Ventures, and Future Africa, among others.
The health tech startup which is building and operating a network of modern, tech-enabled diagnostic centers across Nigeria, plans to use this new funding to launch a new product offering, “SentinelX”, a digital health membership offering that champions preventive, personalized, and continuous care using proprietary technology.
Founded in 2017 by Oluwasoga Oni, Opeyemi Ologun, Genevieve Barnard Oni, and Joseph McCord, MDaaS Global has launched 7 centers in Ibadan, Ilorin, Osogbo, Lagos, and Abuja, with plans to expand to 6 new cities in 2021. To date, the healthcare company has provided diagnostic services to over 40,000 patients in underserved communities, and following its seed round in 2019, has grown its staff capacity to over 70.
This extension round brings MDaaS Global’s total funding to date to $3.7 million. In addition to the launch of SentinelX, this new funding will see the company rapidly scale its physical footprint across Nigeria to become the largest diagnostic chain in the country.
Since its founding, MDaaS Global has focused on increasing access to critical diagnostic services for underserved and geographically challenged communities. SentinelX builds on that mission by democratizing access not only to technology-enabled primary care but also to comprehensive preventive care that helps members identify and address health risks before they become problems. SentinelX operates as an annual subscription-based membership starting at just N35,000 [approx. $70 a month].
Over the past two decades, non-communicable diseases (NCDs), also referred to as lifestyle diseases, have risen dramatically in sub-Saharan Africa, driven by a growing incidence of cardiovascular risk factors like unhealthy diets, reduced physical activity, hypertension, and diabetes. And by 2030, NCDs are set to become the leading cause of mortality on the continent. SentinelX is poised to tackle this challenge head-on and empower members to take control of their long-term health.
Currently, in private beta and with a speedily growing waitlist, SentinelX is set to launch publicly in September 2021. Prospective members can register via the website to schedule their diagnostic screening which looks at more than 65 unique biomarkers to assess individual risk for a wide range of diseases, including cancers, diabetes, kidney disease, and heart diseases. Clinical and family history, as well as demographic data, are also taken into consideration as part of the comprehensive analysis.
Screenings are carried out at MDaaS-owned facilities, expediting a cost-efficient medical process for patients and effectively allowing the company to manage the full lifecycle and health journey of its customers. Members receive monthly check-in calls from their dedicated Care Team to monitor progress, make adjustments to their Care Plans, and supply answers to questions that may arise – providing patients with a holistic and proactive approach to their healthcare.
Speaking on the news, Oluwasoga Oni, MDaaS Global’s CEO and Co-Founder said unrestricted access to quality healthcare has been the start-up’s primary objective. Noting that the pandemic has compelled the company to consider innovative ways of offering more proactive care. He also explained that the additional funding will help propel the company’s growth and enable them to serve more people in better ways.
“SentinelX combines a human touch – which is still needed, with advanced technology to provide faster, easier healthcare solutions for Nigerians. But importantly, it makes preventive care more accessible and affordable. This will pave the way for lowering overall medical costs for patients as well as improving their health outcomes in the long run.”
Commenting on the announcement, Llew Claasen, Managing Partner at Newtown Partners, avers that “Most consumers in sub-Saharan Africa receive suboptimal medical care because of infrastructure gaps, low physician density, delays in diagnostics, and a lack of health data visibility. We think the physical diagnostic infrastructure that MDaaS is building out, coupled with the means to collect data and deliver value-added software services, has the potential to completely change the way that physicians, clinicians, and pharmacists do their jobs and lead to better health outcomes for a huge number of previously underserved consumers.”
In conclusion, Oluwasoga said, “For many years, healthcare in Nigeria and across Africa has been focused almost exclusively on treating diseases rather than preventing them in the first place. Access to diagnostics and preventive care is key to addressing the burgeoning NCD crisis; through SentinelX, we aim to leverage our expertise in affordable diagnostics and put the ‘health’ back in healthcare for Africa’s next billion.”
Since it was founded, MDaaS Global has performed over 80,000 diagnostics tests across cardiology, radiology, neurology, laboratory, and general health checks. MDaaS has expanded its referral network to include over 750 clinicians and has partnered with over 500 health facilities and 10 HMO networks. By 2025, the company aims to operate 100 centers across the continent and serve 1 million patients per year.