IVORY COAST – Ivorian health startup Susu has closed a US$1 million pre-seed round to scale its family-centric health insurance product across Africa.

Angel investors led the pre-seed funding round and the company also raised US$1.2 million in debt and grant financing from BPI France, the French government’s public investment bank.

Susu offers bundled health services that provide patients with planned long-term health support to ensure optimal monitoring of their health conditions including pregnancy, child care and chronic disease management.

The team offers services based on four key pillars including a combination of medical and logistical services as well as collective financing which allows payment for service through several contributors.

It also has a digital platform that connects the beneficiaries, financial contributors and the healthcare professionals.

Lastly, quality medical network carefully selected by Susu’s experts to allow African patients to have comprehensive care.

The funds will be used to continue offering inexpensive and available healthcare to its consumers in Ivory Coast, Senegal, and Cameroon.

The startup intends to expand healthcare services in 6 new countries in Sub-Saharan Africa including Nigeria and Ghana.

It is also developing new care bundles including a maternity care bundle to reduce mortality risk for pregnant women and their babies.

Consequently, Susu intends to grow the company’s team and enrich the technology platform with new features to tackle challenges faced by the healthcare systems over the continent.

The funding comes at a time when there is a scarcity of quality healthcare in Africa due to the lack of insurance or ill-equipped hospitals.

Africa has also been plagued by inefficiency in terms of obtaining medicine, giving treatment and delivering inhabitants with an appropriate level of professional services.

Studies show that the medical insurance penetration rate is less than 3% in Africa, leaving 97% of the population having to pay medical expenses out of pocket.

Susu seeks to mitigate this problem by supporting beneficiaries’ healthcare journeys through care bundles while using an integrated approach to better connect the patients, their families, and healthcare professionals.

The startup proposes a community financing option in which family members either locally or in the diaspora can assist patients to pay their monthly subscription costs.

In addition, it provides care packages which are medical calendars that include doctor appointments, nurse visits, SMS medical advice and a variety of other medical activities for patients.

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