Ivorian healthtech startup, Susu, raises $4.9 million in funding to expand into new markets

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December 14, 2023
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2 min read
Susu founders

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  • Susu, an Ivorian healthtech startup, has secured $4.9 million (€4.5 million) in funding to accelerate growth, expand into new African markets, and diversify acquisition strategies into corporate and financial institutions. 
  • Investors in the round include INCO Ventures, Al Mada Ventures, Janngo Capital, Open CNP, Health54 (CFAO Healthcare), Launch Africa Ventures, Five35 Ventures, and Plug and Play Ventures. Various business angels also joined the fundraising initiative.
  • The company will also use the funding to enhance its digital platform, expand its workforce, and reinforce marketing, operations, and finance teams in France and Africa by 2024.

Founded in 2019 by Bola Bardet (CEO), Laurent Leconte (CTO), and Sandrine Egron (COO), Susu employs technology to provide innovative solutions at the intersection of health, finance, and insurance. Already serving over 7,000 clients in Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, and Cameroon, the startup plans to use the funds to extend its presence to other Francophone African nations and North Africa.

Susu provides care packages, also known as bundles, to patients who need close supervision to ensure that long-term health conditions such as diabetes and hypertension are tracked and that preventive advice on how to better manage them is received.

Susu's mission is to enhance medical accessibility for individuals in their home countries, especially those with family members in the diaspora. 

The healthtech company provides a unique financing solution that allows patients to pay their bills in addition to a monthly subscription fee that can be paid for by family members who live nearby or abroad via care bundles.

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Essentially, care bundles are medical calendars that include patient-related activities such as SMS medical advice, nurse visits, doctor consultations, and other medical activities. 

The diaspora can pay for or contribute to their family members' at-home medical care via the Susu transaction platform. The primary focus of its services is on chronic and preventive health issues.

One of Susu's primary service offerings is a 360° digital platform that functions as a conduit between Susu's internal teams, medical providers, financial contributors, and beneficiaries.

Additionally, pointing to an average penetration rate of less than 3%, Omar Laalej, Managing Director of Al Mada Ventures, emphasised the undercapitalisation of the insurance industry in sub-Saharan Africa. He pointed out that the healthtech startup's solutions would increase the opportunities for insurance product distribution.

Overall, technology-aided healthcare services in Africa are significantly growing, with a projected revenue of US$5.37 billion in 2023. Also, healthtech startups employing technological methods account for 8.4% of the total number of funded startups in Africa. 

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Susu received $1 million in a pre-seed round in 2022 and was one of 25 African companies to compete for the $4 million Google for Startups award in June 2023. It reflects an increasing emergence of digital healthtech startups, investor interest and an impressive adoption rate.


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