Dutch-African mobile health payments firm CarePay International announced it raised €40 million growth capital in its Series A financing round, becoming one of the best funded start-ups in Africa. The new capital will be used to expand the company’s mobile health payments platform to new markets, starting with Nigeria and Tanzania. CarePay International works with private and public health payers to connect millions of people to its platform that are currently excluded from quality healthcare services in Africa and other markets.
“The mobile phone allows you to reach everyone at almost no extra cost, this creates unprecedented opportunities for health insurance schemes”, says Onno Schellekens, CEO of CarePay International. CarePay International digitally connects health payers such as insurers, beneficiaries and healthcare providers on to one mobile platform, so that they can transact and communicate with each other in real-time. Due to the permanent connection to all stakeholders, making real-time payments becomes possible if required.
This round saw participation from a mix of investors that reflect the company’s strategy to generate a social impact alongside financial returns. Joining this round are Dutch private equity funds IFHA-II and impact investor ELMA Investments, as well as the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs that invested through the PharmAccess Group. Tom McPartland, a Board member of ELMA Investments, says that “Universal Health Coverage in Africa will only be possible if governments and their citizens can provide and access health services from both the public and private sectors through seamless and efficient mechanisms, CarePay brings that ambitious vision within the realm of possibility.” Max Coppoolse, IFHA-II’s Managing Partner adds “The current health insurance model excludes huge parts of the African population as the administrative costs are too high, there is not enough data and outpatient costs cannot be controlled. CarePay’s mobile technology addresses all these elements and in addition offers cross-sale opportunities and other significant growth prospects for insurers.”
CarePay International launched its mobile health payments platform in late 2016 in Kenya in partnership with Safaricom, the operator of mobile money service M-PESA, which is considered to be one of the most successful mobile money services in the world and through which an estimated 40% of Kenyan GDP runs. Bob Collymore, CEO of Safaricom, says “CarePay can do for healthcare inclusion what M-PESA has done for financial inclusion. It provides speed, accountability and massively simplifies the user payments experience.”