Kenyan healthtech Ilara Health secures $4.2M to scale its tech-enabled primary care model

Ilara Health, the healthtech company digitising and consolidating highly fragmented primary care in Kenya, has today announced the close of a $4.2M pre-series A round of equity and debt.

The latest capital injection will be used to scale the firm’s tech-enabled primary care model across Kenya before expanding to other regions.

With this latest funding, the company’s total investment to date reaches $11.7M, encompassing various funding rounds, such as a $3.75M seed round in 2020, along with multiple grants, including two grants totaling $1.6M from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Founded in 2019 by Emilian Popa, Maximilian Mancini and Sameer Afzal Farooqi, Ilara Health launched to deliver affordable and accessible quality healthcare in the peri-urban areas of Kenya. The company began by addressing the gap in diagnostics impacting primary healthcare centres in the region due to significant disparities in availability and quality testing.

Ilara Health’s initial model offered revenue-generating diagnostic assets, which enabled clinics to instantly scale their businesses, whilst also providing flexible repayment plans, and also the training required to test patients.  The company has since expanded to digitising the entire end-to-end operations, leveraging data to enhance its infrastructural business model. This includes helping clinics electronically manage their patient base and becoming their one-stop shop for diagnostic tools, consumables, and pharmaceuticals.

The investment will facilitate Ilara Health’s focus for the next 12 months which is to achieve significant topline growth, keep growing the already large partner clinics network, and incorporate the next phase of growth into its model, which includes the launch of the employee health services through B2B health & occupational services, initially in select locations and later throughout the country. This is to further strengthen the Ilara Health branded clinics and achieve revenue growth, proving the path to profitability as the operating base remains broadly consistent.

The healthtech company also intends to drive internal efficiencies in operations and embark on a fundraising round of both equity and debt, to support the working capital investments fueling the growth goals. There will also be a meaningful investment in technology and the proprietary Practice Management Software (PMS) to prove the longer-term data-driven potential of our business model. Live data from the PMS will enable the start-up to analyse the performance of primary care providers to provide follow-on asset lending and working capital of between $10,000 to $15,000 for: clinic rejuvenations, staff training, provision of diagnostic equipment and a ‘powered by Ilara Health’ co-branding opportunity.

The company presently has 8 clinics covered by these follow-on investments and co-branding, with plans to expand to 50 by the end of the year.

Speaking on the round, Emilian Popa, CEO and Co-founder of Ilara Health says “Ilara Health came about by one common goal; to improve the quality of healthcare for Africans. We passionately believe healthcare should be affordable and accessible to all and I’m therefore proud of the measurable impact we have achieved in such a short space of time.”

”There’s still so much more to be done, which is why we are thrilled to be joined by prominent global investors who share our core vision for Kenya and ultimately all of Africa. This fundraise will build on our continued growth and we look forward to driving standardised quality healthcare on the continent.” Emilian added.

Kenya has ~10,000 privately owned primary care facilities and a further ~7,000 that are publicly owned. Ilara Health’s growth momentum has so far seen it partner with over 3,000 of these clinics to deliver better healthcare across 42 Kenyan counties, which in turn serve over 5 million patients each year.

The funding round was led by DOB Equity, and also saw follow-on equity investment from AAIC INVESTMENT, Angaza Capital, Black Pearl Investments, Perivoli Innovations, as well as debt investment from Alphamundi and Kiva Capital. New to the round are Philips Foundation and Boehringer Ingelheim.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to

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