Villgro Africa, a venture capitalist firm supporting early-stage social entrepreneurs in Africa, has disbursed funding to four health-focused startups amounting to a total of $170k.
Villgro Africa expanded to Africa in 2017 with a launch in Kenya, the firm only expanded across the continent in 2020 in a bid to support more e-health startups. The early-stage business incubator is focused on offering mentoring, funding, and access to networks to African startups.
Two of the funded startups DawaPay and Damu-Sasa are Kenyan. DawaPay is a digital platform that partners with pharmaceutical manufacturers in promoting the last-mile distribution of affordable essential medicines and laboratory consumables, while Damu-Sasa is an innovative end-to-end blood services information management system that provides support in the sourcing of blood, managing inventory and transfusion processes. They have each secured $50k in funding.
Rob Beyer, co-founder and executive chair of Villgro Africa speaking on the funding said that the Villgro team is happy to collaborate with Damu Sasa to achieve its vision.
“The Damu Sasa team is extremely focused and committed to solving the challenges within the blood services supply chain. We at Villgro Africa are keen to collaborate with them to achieve their vision while looking to unlock more capital as they grow the organization” said Rob.
Ethiopia’s Simbona, a healthcare research and development company that designs and develops healthcare equipment and ICT systems received a $50k funding, while Uganda’s Wekebere, which is developing a maternal healthcare device that focuses on improving access to quality, timely, affordable antenatal care services received $20k
Stephen Tashobya, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Wekebere speaking on the funding said that the fund will help the startup build its commercialization.
“The seed funding from Villgro helped us to accelerate development and clinical validation of the Wekebere device, and it will help us to build out our commercialization efforts for the first product,” said Stephen.