South African Telehealth Platform, Contro Closes $584k Pre-seed Round

South African Telehealth Platform, Contro Closes $584k Pre-seed Round

Contro, a South African telehealth startup that specializes in services for treating confidence issues and sexual health, has announced that it has closed its oversubscribed pre-seed investment round, raising a total of $584k (R10.1 million).

Plug & Play, iCubed Capital, WZ Capital, and the Jozi Angels Network were among the four international and local VCs who contributed to the investment. A grant from the i3 fund, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was given to prominent local and international Angels and Contro.

With six services now available, Contro, which debuted in June 2021, includes subscription services for birth control, erectile dysfunction treatment, hair loss treatment, and one-time treatments for STIs, thrush, and UTIs. Since its launch, Contro’s platform has helped over 2000 people in South Africa receive therapy, and it has only continued to get better. The team at Contro bootstrapped the platform’s development in 2019 in an effort to demonstrate product-market fit before looking for outside funding, which they most definitely have done!

Every team’s decision and course of action at Contro is driven by the company’s unwavering commitment to maintaining its three basic values of accessibility, ease, and confidentiality. Alex Schmid, the company’s founder, said that the startup’s performance to date has proved that putting the customer first is crucial to developing a successful direct-to-consumer business in South Africa.

“Our success to date has shown that putting the customer first is key to creating a successful direct-to-consumer business in South Africa. By understanding the barriers to entry and pain points individuals go through when seeking sexual healthcare services, we have been able to build a service that fundamentally makes access cost-effective, discreet and easier than ever before.

“I’m incredibly proud of the work our team has produced, the hours dedicated and the weekends sacrificed to get the company where it is today. Investors have witnessed that determination and the potential Contro has, which has proudly resulted in exceptional VCs, Angels and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation backing us and our platform,” said Schmid.

The current funding gives Contro the resources it needs to build its platform, increase its service offerings, and expand its workforce in order to facilitate targeted expansion across South Africa. South African townships and rural areas account for 30% of Contro’s clientele, and the company wants to expand on its current success there and elsewhere.

“Our largest achievement to date has been creating an accessible and affordable service for all South Africans. The platform is utilized in areas such as Soweto, Khayelitsha, and Alexandra as well as rural areas, and we’re one of the few companies that can facilitate both consultations and medication delivery anywhere in South Africa. As a South African founding team, this has humbled us, and this achievement is what drives us to continue to develop our platform and company to deliver healthcare to all,” Schmid concluded.