London-based VC Digital Horizon invests in African healthtech startup Healthlane



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In the past two decades, a range of diseases including Ebola, Chikungunya, Zika Virus, and other notable outbreaks kept the healthcare industry and workers occupied. However, the recent COVID-19 pandemic rattled every possible industry instilling a few new habits, including social distancing. 

The social distancing concept led to the sharp growth of e-health startups, as customers moved to the online consultation, treatment, medical tests, and more. One such startup is Healthlane, an application that helps people to get quality and affordable healthcare services easily.

Y Combinator alumnus scoops up €2M

Recently, the London-headquartered Digital Horizon venture fund has invested in Healthlane, a Y Combinator alumnus. The Nigerian startup focuses on modern, online consultations for local and remote patients, alongside traditional face-to-face public health services – across Africa. The total amount of the round was $2.4 million (approx €2M).

Digital Horizon is an international investment company that invests in early-stage startups with promising solutions for the financial industry, e-commerce, education, and enterprise software. 

Other investors, including Sequoia Capital, Silicon Valley Bank, TSVC, Supernode Ventures, CRE Africa, Capitoria, as well as several early investors in Ping An Good Doctor, also participated in the round.

Online and offline healthcare services

Available on both Google Play Store and App Store, Healthlane is creating a platform that allows patients to book and pay for a doctor’s appointment at a public clinic through an app. The startup intends to replicate the success of China’s “Ping An Good Doctor” by building an ecosystem of medical services based on existing offline infrastructure.

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Right now, more than 30 medical institutions in Nigeria and Cameroon co-operate with the company, and the number of clients in the first half of the year exceeded 60,000 people.

Upcoming features

The company is also planning to add new features in the future, including calling a doctor at home, gaining access to test results and prescriptions, telemedicine, and ordering medicines with delivery will also become available.

“Unlike many startups that rely only on telemedicine, Healthlane’s solution combines remote and face-to-face health services. Furthermore, the service’s customers become not only users but also doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, and other market participants. In the future, this all-in-one approach will enable the company to expand the list of services by adding, for example, insurance products. In this, the company’s model is similar to the Chinese platform Ping An Good Doctor, whose audience over several years of operation amounted to 315 million people, with its capitalisation on the stock exchange growing to $15 billion. I am confident that Africa needs such projects, so we will continue to monitor the development of the local digital healthcare sector and will keep looking for exciting opportunities,” commented Alan Vaksman, founder, and managing partner of Digital Horizon.

Founded by Alain Nteff, Healthlane is one of the 12 African startups that got into Y Combinator’s 2020 winter batch. Due to the growing concerns about COVID-19, this year’s Demo Day was held online.

Main image credits: Andrey_Popov/ Shutterstock


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The editorial team of Silicon Canals brings you technology news from the European startup ecosystem. 

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